•  895
    Modularity, development and "theory of mind"
    with Brian J. Scholl
    Mind and Language 14 (1): 131-153. 1999.
    Psychologists and philosophers have recently been exploring whether the mechanisms which underlie the acquisition of ‘theory of mind’ (ToM) are best charac- terized as cognitive modules or as developing theories. In this paper, we attempt to clarify what a modular account of ToM entails, and why it is an attractive type of explanation. Intuitions and arguments in this debate often turn on the role of develop- ment: traditional research on ToM focuses on various developmental sequences, whereas c…Read more
  •  676
    Acting intentionally and the side-effect effect: 'Theory of mind' and moral judgment
    with Joshua Knobe and Adam Cohen
    Psychological Science 17 421-427. 2006.
    The concept of acting intentionally is an important nexus where ‘theory of mind’ and moral judgment meet. Preschool children’s judgments of intentional action show a valence-driven asymmetry. Children say that a foreseen but disavowed side-effect is brought about 'on purpose' when the side-effect itself is morally bad but not when it is morally good. This is the first demonstration in preschoolers that moral judgment influences judgments of ‘on-purpose’ (as opposed to purpose influencing moral j…Read more
  •  390
    Transgressors, victims, and cry babies: Is basic moral judgment spared in autism?
    with Ron Mallon
    Social Neuroscience 1 270283. 2006.
    Human social intelligence comprises a wide range of complex cognitive and affective processes that appear to be selectively impaired in autistic spectrum disorders. The study of these neuro- developmental disorders and the study of canonical social intelligence have advanced rapidly over the last twenty years by investigating the two together. Specifically, studies of autism have provided important insights into the nature of ‘theory of mind’ abilities, their normal development and underlying ne…Read more
  •  284
    Does the autistic child have a “theory of mind”?
    with Simon Baron-Cohen and Uta Frith
    Cognition 21 (1): 37-46. 1985.
    We use a new model of metarepresentational development to predict a cognitive deficit which could explain a crucial component of the social impairment in childhood autism. One of the manifestations of a basic metarepresentational capacity is a ‘ theory of mind ’. We have reason to believe that autistic children lack such a ‘ theory ’. If this were so, then they would be unable to impute beliefs to others and to predict their behaviour. This hypothesis was tested using Wimmer and Perner’s puppet …Read more
  •  157
    The generative basis of natural number concepts
    with Rochel Gelman and C. R. Gallistel
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (6): 213-218. 2008.
    Number concepts must support arithmetic inference. Using this principle, it can be argued that the integer concept of exactly ONE is a necessary part of the psychological foundations of number, as is the notion of the exact equality - that is, perfect substitutability. The inability to support reasoning involving exact equality is a shortcoming in current theories about the development of numerical reasoning. A simple innate basis for the natural number concepts can be proposed that embodies the…Read more
  •  90
    Indexing and the object concept: developing `what' and `where' systems
    with Fei Xu, Patrice D. Tremoulet, and Brian J. Scholl
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2 (1): 10-18. 1998.
  •  85
    Varieties of off-line simulation
    with Shaun Nichols, Stephen P. Stich, and David B. Klein
    In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), [Book Chapter], Cambridge University Press. pp. 39-74. 1996.
    The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. In principle, …Read more
  •  67
    The ability to engage in and recognize pretend play begins around 18 months. A major challenge for theories of pretense is explaining how children are able to engage in pretense, and how they are able to recognize pretense in others. According to one major account, the metarepresentational theory, young children possess both production and recognition abilities because they possess the mental state concept, PRETEND. According to a more recent rival account, the Behavioral theory, young children …Read more
  •  59
    Transgressors, victims, and cry babies: Is basic moral judgment spared in autism?
    with Ron Mallon and Jennifer DiCorcia
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    of (from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) forthcoming in Social Neuroscience. [nearly final draft in .pdf] An empirical investigation of moral judgment in autism.
  •  41
    Young children’s failures in reasoning about beliefs and desires, and especially about false beliefs, have been much studied. However, there are few accounts of successful belief-desire reasoning in older children or adults. An exception to this is a model in which belief attribution is treated as a process wherein an inhibitory system selects the most likely content for the belief to be attributed from amongst several competing contents [Leslie, A. M., & Polizzi, P. (1998). Developmental Scienc…Read more
  •  38
    Choice effects and the ineffectiveness of simulation
    with Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich
    Mind and Language 10 (4): 437-45. 1995.
  •  36
    Theories that propose a modular basis for developing a “theory of mind” have no problem accommodating social interaction or social environment factors into either the learning process, or into the genotypes underlying the growth of the neurocognitive modules. Instead, they can offer models which constrain and hence explain the mechanisms through which variations in social interaction affect development. Cognitive models of both competence and performance are critical to evaluating the basis of c…Read more
  •  30
    The Mental Representation of Human Action
    with Sydney Levine and John Mikhail
    Cognitive Science 42 (4): 1229-1264. 2018.
  •  24
    The Role of Victims' Emotions in Preschoolers' Moral Judgments
    with Deena Skolnick Weisberg
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3): 439-455. 2012.
    Do victims’ emotions underlie preschoolers’ moral judgment abilities? Study 1 asked preschoolers (n = 72) to judge actions directed at characters who could and could not feel hurt and who did and did not cry. These judgments took into account only the nature of the action, not the nature of the victim. To further investigate how victims’ emotions might impact children’s moral judgments, Study 2 presented preschoolers (n = 37) with stories that varied in transgression type (Moral, Conventional, o…Read more
  •  22
    Relevance: Communication and Cognition
    Mind and Language 4 (1-2): 147-150. 1989.
  •  20
    A memory span of one? Object identification in 6.5-month-old infants
    with Zsuzsa Káldy
    Cognition 97 (2): 153-177. 2005.
  •  19
    Do six-month-old infants perceive causality?
    with Stephanie Keeble
    Cognition 25 (3): 265-288. 1987.
  •  18
    Recent studies reveal spontaneous implicit false-belief understanding in infancy. But is this early ability genuine theory-of-mind? Spontaneous tasks may allow early success by eliminating the selection-response bias thought to underlie later failure on standard tasks. However, using anticipatory eye gaze, we find the same bias in non-verbal tasks in both preschoolers and adults. We argue that the bias arises from theory-of-mind competence itself and takes the form of a rational prior to attribu…Read more
  •  16
    Prospects for a cognitive neuropsychology of autism: Hobson's choice
    with Uta Frith
    Psychological Review 97 (1): 122-131. 1990.
  •  8
    The interplay between moral actions and moral judgments in children and adults
    with Janani Prabhakar and Deena Skolnick Weisberg
    Consciousness and Cognition 63 183-197. 2018.
  •  3
    Indexing and the object concept:” what” and” where” in infancy
    with Fei Xu, Patrice D. Tremoulet, and Brian J. Scholl
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2 (1): 10-18. 1998.
  •  1
    Knowledge and ability in "theory of mind": A one-eyed overview of a debate
    with T. P. German
    In Martin Davies & Tony Stone (eds.), Mental Simulation, Blackwell. pp. 123--151. 1995.