We are very good at interpreting our own and other people's beliefs and intentions, even if they are different to our own. This is known as theory of mind. We are interested in how this changes as we age and how it may interact with awareness of emotions.
Work in this area has been comlpeted by Charlotte Gove (funded by the Experimental Psychology Society) & Gavin Stewart.
We are currently looking for volunteers for this study. If you are over 60 and interested in finding out more, please follow the link below and quote "Understanding Others".
This research is supported by Goldsmiths College Research Fund and Goldsmiths Psychology Department.
Autism specturm disorder is a developmental disorder, usually diagnosed in childhood but is a lifelong diagnosis. We currently know very little about what happens during ageing when people have autism specturm disorders.
We are beginning to explore whether cognitive and social age-related changes are the same in autism specturm disorders as in typical ageing. We are working with colleagues at the Autism Diagnostic Research Centre in Southampton (Pat Abbott) and at King's College London (Prof. Francesca Happe).
Hassan Mansour and Debbie Luxon have worked on this study.
Many of the traits that are common in individuals with Autism, also occur at lower levels in the typical population. We examined whether presence of these traits in older adults put people at greater risk for cognitive difficulties or mood problems.
Results from this study (carried out by MSc student Jessica Budgett) have recently been published in the journal Autism Research, you can read a summary of the work in this press release. This work was continued by Gavin Stewart (funded by the British Psychological Society).
Gavin Stewart is currently completing a PhD investigating this further with Dr Rebecca Charlton (Goldsmiths) and Prof Francesca Happe (King's College London).