A neuroscience-informed narrative sequencing and mentalizing training for autistic adults

Activiteit: Talk or presentation at a conference


Autistic adults daily experience difficulties with understanding mental states of others or self (mentalizing) and with structuring personal stories (Narrative coherence). Given that the posterior cerebellum is implicated in both of these skills and in the etiology of autism, we developed a narrative sequencing and mentalizing training for autistic adults, based on novel theoretical insights with respect to the sequencing function of the cerebellum. Participants were randomly assigned to a Training group (n = 17) or a waiting-list control group (n = 15). The training group participated in 6 weekly sessions in groups of 3 lasting each about 60 minutes. Participants had to (re)tell stories from the perspective of the original storyteller and answer mental state questions that required mentalizing. Results showed significant improvements in narrative coherence for the training group compared to the control group. Mentalizing, however, was not improved. Results are discussed in light of cerebellar theories on sequencing of social actions and further improvements to the program are suggested. Our results highlight the clinical utility of adopting a neuroscience-informed approach to developing novel interventions for autistic populations.
Periode3 jun 2022
EvenementstitelBelgian Association for Psychological Sciences (BAPS) 2022
LocatieLeuven, Belgium
Mate van erkenningInternational