Volume 2   Number 1      Fall 2007

Shared Intentionality and Autism: A Comment on Muratori and Maestro's “Autism as a Downstream Effect of Problems in Intersubjectivity Interacting with Difficulties in Brain Connections”
Livia Colle & Elisa Grandi
University and Polytechnic of Turin, Italy
pp. 125-132   (pdf)
ABSTRACT. Muratori and Maestro (2007, this issue) lay out fundamental issues by highlighting the importance of looking at early signs of autism, essential for early intervention, and by combining the most recent and relevant psychological and neuropsychological approaches to the syndrome. In accordance with Muratori and Maestro, we start from the recent definition of ‘shared intentionality’ to stress the importance of differentiating the ability to share intentions (neural representation), which has recently been reported to be deficient in autism, from the intention/motivation to share experiences. Intersubjectivity requires both in order to let interpersonal experiences become part of a ‘dialogical self’. An inability to understand social interactions, in addition to other cognitive impairments, might lead to an impoverished and distorted internal dialogue, resulting in an incapacity to satisfy the preserved desire to share.