Central coherence deficit

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Central coherence deficit

AO2 The theory of mind does not explain autistic savants; however, Frith argued that the central coherence deficit does explain the exceptional skills shown in autistics.

AO1 Non autistics search for the global meaning and adopt a higher level of processing, whereas, autistics focus on individual elements.

Key question: Explain what is meant by central coherence.

Central coherence is the tendency humans process information for general meaning rather than focus on specific meaning.

Use an example and always link to autistic savants.

AO1 Non-autistics reading a book would look for the global meaning (looking for the gist of the plot, what is going on?), whereas, autistics focus on individual words.

AO1 With music, non-autistics would look for the artist and the name of the song, whereas, an autistic would look for individual notes.

According to Frith, it is the capacity for coherence is diminished in the child with autism. Autistics process information differently from other people; this is known as lack of central cohesive.

Non-autistics will aim to complete something for meaning (e.g. sentences) in order to make meaning of the world.  As human beings, we have a natural tendency to problem solve and fill in the gaps.

AO1 This inability of central coherence lacking in autistics can be explained through embedded figure tests.

AO1 Central coherence is weaker in autistic individuals and this can be debilitating in some situations (e.g. social situations) but prove beneficial on some tasks.

It has been suggested that autistic people are better…


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