Tag: Macquarie

Seminar from Liz Pellicano – Explaining altered sensation and perception in autism

Speaker : Liz Pellicano, Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) & Department of Psychology and Human Development , Institute of Education, University of London.
Date : 4th of December 2012, 4:00PM until 5:30PM
Location : C5C498 – Palermo Room, Macquarie University.

Autism is most well known for the way that it affects how a person interacts and communicates with others. But autism can affect behavior in other important and debilitating ways, such as in an intense desire for sameness and in sensory systems that work too well or not well enough. Researchers have largely overlooked these so-called sensory symptoms but their prominence in forthcoming diagnostic criteria calls for systematic investigation and explanation. In this talk, I suggest that the sensory and other non-social symptoms in autism might be caused by important differences in what an autistic person expects about incoming sensory signals and therefore how they interpret their significance. Within a Bayesian framework, I suggest that attenuated Bayesian priors – hypo-priors – may be responsible for the unique perceptual experience of autistic people, leading to a tendency to perceive the world more accurately rather than modulated by prior experience. I further consider how hypo-priors could help explain the range and idiosyncrasy of sensory sensitivities and their difficulties dealing with new experiences.

Seminar from Sander Begeer: Training theory of mind in autism

On 30th October, Sander Begeer is giving a seminar on “Training Theory of Mind in Autism” at the Department of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University.

Speaker : Sander Begeer, School of Psychology, University of Sydney.

Date : 30th of October 2012, 4:00PM until 5:30PM

Location : Palermo Room,  C5C498, Macquarie University

Deviant perspective taking or Theory of Mind (ToM) skills are a central feature of autism. However, the literature is unclear about specific strengths and weaknesses of individuals with autism. This is partly due to the way ToM is measured. Moreover, many treatments for children with autism involve attempts to ‘train’ ToM skills, while the evidence base for these treatments is generally poor. In the current presentation, the effects of training ToM in children with autism will be discussed, with specific regard to passive or active social interaction styles of the children. The difference between conceptual and applied ToM skills is highlighted, and the question is raised whether ToM is a proclivity, rather than a capacity. Bio: Sander Begeer is a postdoctoral fellow, working on University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research and Endeavour Award Research Fellowships. His research focus is on autism, empathy and social emotional development. He is involved in various projects that highlight the assessment of social emotional problems in autism, the effect of treatment for some of these problems (Theory of Mind and emotion regulation), and the assessment of autism in ethnic minorities.