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Differences in the Theory of Mind profiles of patients with anorexia nervosa and individuals on the autism spectrum: a meta-analytic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-163
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume90
Early online date12 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

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Abstract

Background: This meta-analytic review examines the theory of mind
profiles in both patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and autistic
individuals.
Methodology: The studies examining theory of mind were divided into the
following categories: emotional theory of mind, understanding simple
social situations, understanding complex social interactions, and implicit
social attribution. All included studies investigated differences between
healthy control (HCs) individuals and people with AN or autistic people.
Differences in theory of mind profile between people with AN and autistic
people were explored by conducting moderator analyses.
Results: People with AN and autistic people showed a similar theory of
mind profile, but autistic individuals showed greater difficulties,
particularly in emotional theory of mind.
Conclusions: Although both people with AN and autistic people have
significant difficulties in all aspects of theory of mind relative to the HCs,
some differences in the underlying profile may be present. However, due
to relative paucity of theory of mind research among people with AN,
further research is still needed before firm conclusion can be drawn.

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