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Studying autism might be a complex endeavor due to its clinical heterogeneity. Little is currently known about potential sex differences in autistic adults, especially regarding mentalizing and narrative coherence. In this study, male and female participants told a personal story about one of their most positive and most negative life events and performed two mentalizing tasks. One of these mentalizing tasks was a recently developed Picture and Verbal Sequencing task that has shown cerebellar recruitment, and which requires mentalizing in a sequential context (i.e., participants chronologically ordered scenarios that required true and false belief mentalizing). Our preliminary comparison shows that males were faster and more accurate on the Picture Sequencing task compared to female participants when ordering sequences involving false beliefs, but not true beliefs. No sex differences were found for the other mentalizing and narrative tasks. These results highlight the importance of looking at sex differences in autistic adults and provide a possible explanation for sex-related differences in daily life mentalizing functions, which suggest a need for more sensitive diagnosis and tailored support.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftActa Psychologica
Nummer van het tijdschrift2023
StatusPublished - jun 2023

Bibliografische nota

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Spearheaded Research Program ( SRP57 ) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel , Belgium, awarded to Frank Van Overwalle.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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