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02-12-2021 | Original Paper Open Access

Intention Attribution in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An EEG Study

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Magdalena Schütz, Sara Boxhoorn, Andreas M. Mühlherr, Hannah Mössinger, Christine M. Freitag, Christina Luckhardt
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Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-021-05358-1.
Christine M. Freitag and Christina Luckhardt share last authorship.

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The ability to infer intentions from observed behavior and predict actions based on this inference, known as intention attribution (IA), has been hypothesized to be impaired in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The underlying neural processes, however, have not been conclusively determined. The aim of this study was to examine the neural signature of IA in children and adolescents with ASD, and to elucidate potential links to contextual updating processes using electroencephalography. Results did not indicate that IA or early contextual updating was impaired in ASD. However, there was evidence of aberrant processing of expectation violations in ASD, particularly if the expectation was based on IA. Results are discussed within the context of impaired predictive coding in ASD.

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