The ability to understand abstract words is related to intelligence and higher order processes. However, a growing corpus of research suggests that abstracts words, while having lower level of concreteness and imag-inability, are processed in different manners. This article provides experimental evidence that the processing of epistemic-abstract words (eg. Imagination, certainty) is different from the processing of metaphysical-abstract words (eg. Freedom, criteria). We carried out an experiment in which 16 children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a typically developing matched group (TD) completed nine sentences graded by difficulty. Subjects with ASD were less accurate and slower with abstract-epistemic words; and slower with abstract-metaphysical words, than subjects with TD. The findings are discussed in terms of the social and cognitive processes to detect and understand the mental states, an ability named theory of mind (ToM).
|Translated title of the contribution||Semantic processing of epistemic and metaphysical words in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (Asd) and typically developing (td)|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - Dec 2015|