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Psychological and Brain Mechanisms of Moral Reasoning for Individuals With Autism
Li Zhan-Xing1,2; Zhu Li-Qi1
AbstractDeficits in communication are one of the main symptoms for individuals with autism, and studying their mode of moral reasoning might help us explain this phenomenon. Previous research has shown differences in moral reasoning between individuals with autism and normal individuals. For example, people with autism could distinguish moral violation from conventional violation, but they often judged those actors who hurt others without intention deliberately. On the other hand, they were not sensitive to the victim's emotional cues and could not understand what others felt. Such studies suggest that the ability to mind-read and to show empathy with others might be some of the key psychological mechanisms required to complete moral reasoning tasks. Furthermore, other research suggests that there is a relationship between the moral reasoning and language development of individuals with autism. People with autism often explain their moral reasoning by repeating story details and declaring concrete outcomes, but their explanations lack descriptions of abstract moral rules. Brain imaging studies show that there are significant differences between people with autism and typically-developing individuals in the activation in the orbito-frontal cortex (OFC), amygdala, insula, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), anterior cingulate cortex(ACC), medial prefrontal cortex(mPFC), default-mode network(DMN) and right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ) in moral reasoning. These locations are also vital brain regions for theory of mind or empathy. Further studies have shown that when completing sentence processing tasks, people with autism also showed different activation in the verbal functional association areas by contrast with nounal individuals, and this might be the internal basis for their explanation mode of moral reasoning. Future research should consider the interaction of the influence of theory of mind, empathy and verbal ability in moral reasoning for individuals with autism, and adopt more non-verbal methods. In addition, future studies could incorporate brain damage technology and hormone level analysis to examine the physiological mechanism of moral reasoning for people with autism comprehensively.
KeywordAutism Theory Of Mind Empathy Moral Reasoning Brain Mechanism
Indexed BySCI ; SSCI
WOS Research AreaBiochemistry & Molecular Biology ; Biophysics
WOS SubjectBiochemistry & Molecular Biology ; Biophysics
WOS IDWOS:000367202700004
WOS HeadingsScience & Technology ; Life Sciences & Biomedicine
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Cited Times:1[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Affiliation1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Psychol, Key Lab Behav Sci, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Grad Sch, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Li Zhan-Xing,Zhu Li-Qi. Psychological and Brain Mechanisms of Moral Reasoning for Individuals With Autism[J]. PROGRESS IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS,2015,42(12):1103-1111.
APA Li Zhan-Xing,&Zhu Li-Qi.(2015).Psychological and Brain Mechanisms of Moral Reasoning for Individuals With Autism.PROGRESS IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS,42(12),1103-1111.
MLA Li Zhan-Xing,et al."Psychological and Brain Mechanisms of Moral Reasoning for Individuals With Autism".PROGRESS IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS 42.12(2015):1103-1111.
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