Disruptions of the Meshed Architecture in Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Psychoanalytic Inquiry


We take a wide view of social cognition to include embodied and situated processes of intersubjective interaction, which include, for example, nonverbal cues, joint attention and joint action, social affordances and direct enactive perception of intentions and affective states. In this article we propose a model that can help to capture and organize the many different factors involved in social cognition, and we evaluate how this model may inform research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Specifically, we propose that social interaction can be viewed as a form of embodied-situated performance. In this respect the model of a meshed architecture, borrowed from performance studies, can provide some insight into social cognition, and specifically into social cognitive problems in ASD. As currently understood this model integrates cognitive and embodied motoric processes. We have developed a more enhanced model of a meshed architecture that applies more generally to situated cognition, and we apply this enhanced model to studies on social cognition and ASD.

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