Understanding Other Minds: Perspectives from Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience / Edition 2

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Overview

Like the first edition, this completely updated and revised text still focuses on the "theory of mind" hypothesis—an important new psychological approach to autism— and provides an invaluable discussion about the nature of what is widely recognized as the most severe childhood psychological disorder. But it provides expanded coverage of evolution and new sections on infancy, neurobiology, and cognitive neuroscience.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the second edition of a work first published in 1993. The editors attempt to explain the very important concept of the "theory of mind," or the ability for human beings to understand that they have a "self" and that others also have "self." The contributors offer explanations of this concept from various modalities, and how, when this concept goes awry, psychopathology may develop.
Purpose: The purpose is to explain the "theory of mind" phenomenon from such viewpoints as normal development, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology, and then to apply these various explanations to help explain a variety of human behaviors, both normal and abnormal. The main focus is on autism, but other disease states such as schizophrenia are also discussed.
Audience: The book is written for researchers and clinicians in psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and primatology. Researchers from all these disciplines would find it useful; clinicians probably less so, unless their practice involves treating children and childhood developmental issues.
Features: The book is composed of numerous chapters, each written by contributors who are considered authorities in their fields. It is divided into four pans: normal theory of mind development and autism, neurobiological aspects, clinical applications, and evolutionary/anthropological theories. What stands out in this book is how well the editors manage to tie together these various disciplines to help explain how the theory of mind develops and how, when development is interrupted, certain pathologies can develop.
Assessment: This is an important work in a rapidly changing field. The editors and contributors attempt to explain the always elusive concept of self-awareness. They also attempt to explain that perhaps uniquely-human quality of realizing that others, also, are self-aware, and how this ability is crucial in normal human development. Unlike many other books on this subject, the editors approach the concept from several different perspectives and succeed in offering an explanation using all these modalities. The book's usefulness is perhaps limited to researchers and child/developmental psychologists, but anyone interested in the subject will find it exciting reading.
From the Publisher
"This is an important work in a rapidly changing field. The editors and contributors attempt to explain the always-elusive concept of self-awareness. The also attempt to explain that perhaps uniquely human quality of realizing that other, also, are self-aware, and how this ability is crucial in normal human development. Unlike may other books on this subject, the editors approach the concept from several different perspectives and succeed in offering an explanation using all these modalities. The book's usefulness is perhaps limited to researchers and child/development psychologists, but anyone interested in the subject will find it exciting reading."—Doody's

"Updated to integrate changes in theory, method, and data since the 1933 first edition, which was subtitled Perspectives from Autism, 21 studies cover the theory of mind from perspectives of normal development and autism, neurobiological aspects, clinical aspects, and anthropological and evolutionary issues. The range of topics is reflected in the disciplines from which the contributors hail. Among the specific concerns are developmental relationships between language and the theory of mind, the role of the frontal lobes and the amygdala, early diagnosis of autism, teaching the theory of mind to people with autism, whether chimpanzees use their gestures to instruct each other, and paleo-anthropological perspectives."—SciTech Book News

"Understanding Other Minds is a well thought-out text, with all the chapter authors achieving a very high standard of presentation. The book provides an excellent introduction for readers new to the area while also providing an important research synthesis for the more expert. It contains a wealth of material of obvious relevance and interest to psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and developmental psychologists, but will also be of interest to those working in other branches of psychology."—Psychological Medicine

William Miles
This is the second edition of a work first published in 1993. The editors attempt to explain the very important concept of the ""theory of mind,"" or the ability for human beings to understand that they have a ""self"" and that others also have ""self."" The contributors offer explanations of this concept from various modalities, and how, when this concept goes awry, psychopathology may develop. The purpose is to explain the ""theory of mind"" phenomenon from such viewpoints as normal development, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology, and then to apply these various explanations to help explain a variety of human behaviors, both normal and abnormal. The main focus is on autism, but other disease states such as schizophrenia are also discussed. The book is written for researchers and clinicians in psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and primatology. Researchers from all these disciplines would find it useful; clinicians probably less so, unless their practice involves treating children and childhood developmental issues. The book is composed of numerous chapters, each written by contributors who are considered authorities in their fields. It is divided into four pans: normal theory of mind development and autism, neurobiological aspects, clinical applications, and evolutionary/anthropological theories. What stands out in this book is how well the editors manage to tie together these various disciplines to help explain how the theory of mind develops and how, when development is interrupted, certain pathologies can develop. This is an important work in a rapidly changing field. The editors and contributors attempt to explain the always elusive concept of self-awareness. They alsoattempt to explain that perhaps uniquely-human quality of realizing that others, also, are self-aware, and how this ability is crucial in normal human development. Unlike many other books on this subject, the editors approach the concept from several different perspectives and succeed in offering an explanation using all these modalities. The book's usefulness is perhaps limited to researchers and child/developmental psychologists, but anyone interested in the subject will find it exciting reading.
Booknews
Updated to integrate changes in theory, method, and data since the 1993 first edition, which was subtitled 21 studies cover the theory of mind from perspectives of normal development and autism, neurobiological aspects, clinical aspects, and anthropological and evolutionary issues. The range of topics is reflected in the disciplines from which the contributors hail. Among the specific concerns are developmental relationships between language and the theory of mind, the role of the frontal lobes and the amygdala, early diagnosis of autism, teaching the theory of mind to people with autism, whether chimpanzees use their gestures to instruct each other, and paleo-anthropological perspectives. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198524458
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/16/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors
Pt. I Theory of mind in normal development and autism
1 Theory of mind and autism: a fifteen year review 3
2 Developing understandings of mind 21
3 Early theories of mind: what the theory theory can tell us about autism 50
4 Autism: deficits in folk psychology exist alongside superiority in folk physics 73
5 Language and theory of mind: what are the developmental relationships? 83
6 Language and understanding minds: connections in autism 124
7 Theory of mind and executive function: is there a developmental relationship? 150
8 Pretending, imagery and self-awareness in autism 182
9 Parts and wholes, meaning and minds: central coherence and its relation to theory of mind 203
10 Aspects of autism that theory of mind cannot explain 222
Pt. 2 Theory of mind: neurobiological aspects
11 The role of the frontal lobes and the amygdala in theory of mind 253
12 How can studies of the monkey brain help us to understand 'theory of mind' and autism in humans? 274
13 Cerebral lateralization and theory of mind 306
14 The physiological basis of theory of mind: functional neuroimaging studies 334
15 Theory of mind in action: developmental perspectives on social neuroscience 357
Pt. 3 Theory of mind: clinical aspects
16 Theory of mind in other clinical conditions: is a selective 'theory of mind' deficit exclusive to autism? 391
17 Theory of mind and the early diagnosis of autism 422
18 Teaching theory of mind to individuals with autism 442
Pt. 4 Theory of mind: anthropological and evolutionary issues
19 Do chimpanzees use their gestures to instruct each other? 459
20 Palaeoanthropological perspectives on the theory of mind 488
21 Culture and understanding other minds 503
Index 521
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