Autism, modularity and levels of explanation in cognitive science

Max Coltheart*, Robyn Langdon

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Over the past century or more, cognitive neuropsychologists have discussed many of the issues raised in this volume. On the basis of this literature, we argue that autism is not a single homogeneous condition, and so can have no single cause. Instead, each of its symptoms has a cause, and the proper study of autism is the separate study of each of these symptoms and its cause. We also offer evidence to support the radical view advanced by Stoljar and Gold in this volume, namely, that in explaining such syndromes the cognitive level of explanation has priority over the neuroscientific.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)138-152
    Number of pages15
    JournalMind and Language
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998


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