This is the internet weblog of Bix Frankonis.

Am I the only one who read this and thought that it’s not that autistic people lack the ability to know what other people are thinking but simply that we first have to actively suppress what we know to be factually true in order to interrogate what someone else is thinking about a situation?

The differences mentioned appear to manifest only during false-belief processing, not accurate-belief processing. Doesn’t that suggest that the autistic brain is noticing when someone else’s belief is right or wrong, and therefore what that person’s belief is, and therefore exhibits a perfectly functional theory of mind?


  1. Seriously, I have the same problem with theory-of-mind hypotheses around autism that I have with empathy-problem hypotheses. Experientially, for me, it’s not been that I have trouble knowing what other people are thinking or feeling in or about a situation but that it’s difficult for me to get over the hurdle of what I am thinking or feeling—or in the sort of situation in this study, what I know to be factually true about a situation. The issue isn’t an inability to see from another’s POV but a sort of executive function/cognitive rigidity obstacle regarding my own POV. As in, it takes me more time than a neurotypical person to shake off “no, I know what’s going on here” and be able to actually examine another person’s POV. It simply isn’t at all that I can’t notice that other person’s POV.