Social Cognition.

I wonder if any other people on the forum are as interested in - and fascinated by - the various theories of social cognition, as I am. At the heart of individual autistic experience and the socio-cultural conceptualisation of autism, social cognition surely plays a major experiential role in our lives.

Like many others, on being diagnosed I researched, ‘what is autism?’ Quickly one is presented with ‘Theory of Mind’ or Mindreading. Further research reveals, ‘Theory Theory of Mind’ and Simulation Theory of Mind .’ Then there are various phenomenological accounts that could be categorised as ‘Social Cognition without Mindreading.’  There are many other theories and innumerable syntheses thereof.

A further question must be asked, how much of social cognition has neuro-genetic underpinnings? Is there just a basic genetic toolkit that permits acquisition? Or are some aspects of social cognition hardwired?

One could argue that, experientially it make no difference which of the multitude of theories is correct. Although surely for therapeutic interventions to be successful, one could equally argue that the success of any such intervention would depend - at least in part - on knowing what is hardwired and what is not.

In ‘Why We Cooperate’, Michael Tomasello noted that because of the variations in inter-group behaviour and social cognition we have the concept of culture. Culture exists precisely because there are cultural differences. From an anthropological view point, autism could be regarded as an intra-culture variation. Our social cognitive differences don’t allow full integration in to the prevailing culture in which we are situated.

Just wondering if anyone else thinks about this stuff - or if I’m on a typical, solitary, autistic journey.

  • A lot of social cognition is based on social conditioning and the underlying parameters to social cognition are genetics and evolution. I don’t know if this is related, I tried to make a new thread but it seems I’m not allowed to, I want to get a dog but I don’t want it to bark a lot - I have sensitive ears. Does anyone know what dog would be a good dog for me?

  • Just as there are different types of dogs that within their groups are sometimes exceptionally good at their jobs due to their genetics, evolution and social conditioning, so are humans alike to dogs in many ways. We should not be too quick to discount the changing parameters of evolution leaning towards a specific future outcome which is often unknown firing the evolutionary process and only becomes clear after many years. What seems to be bad may in fact turn out for the good eventually. My point here is that  any given social parameters are not always the best combination for the good of humanity and our planet. A lot of people who have autism lean towards cooperation and care for the environment for example, rather than competition and not caring for the environment. 

  • I think that autism should be seen a developing difference in the evolutionary path of humanity and based on previous evolutionary trajectories, who knows why? I can only give an educated guess and guiding comment that we are not all the same and this is not a bad thing. We need difference in humanity to complete all the different jobs that are required. We are like a beehive, but we are not bees. We are humans and we do not fully understand our selves or our planet. We can teach each other love (charity), patience, understanding and striving for the best in us all, always hoping, always considering how we can be the best we can be as humans, for the good of us all. Whatever people say about people who have autism or people who don’t (and it must also be remembered that quite a lot of intelligent people think that ‘we’re all there somewhere), I have found that people who are said to have autism are generally more loving, more honest, simpler, more childlike, more innocent, and many other good things. We can all strive for the qualities that will fit us for heaven.

  • Somewhere in the darkness there’s a candle softly gleaming.

  • Those who persist in bullying and being cruel to vulnerable people should know that there is a god.

  • Some music as we hear it is part of the light of love. We hear, we see, we feel love or any way a human can experience love it is possible to experience love and never be without love. What happens when we experience anything on this planet? How do we experience things? Love is a sensory phenomenon- in light, in sound, in touch, in all experience. 

    Believe in love. 

  • We are all humans. Love to you all.

  • You are not alone or solitary I tell you that there is a heaven and God loves those who love.

  • God is trying to teach the world as he has in the past through humans that they need to love 

  • The blind cannot lead the blind. The blind have helpers, to teach them the way.

    Heaven is a place