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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 128264, 9 pages
Review Article

Theory of Mind Deficit versus Faulty Procedural Memory in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Outpatient Service, “Dr. Samuel Ramírez Moreno” Psychiatric Hospital, Health Secretariat, Autopista México-Puebla Km 5.5 Santa Catarina, Tláhuac, 13100 Mexico, DF, Mexico

Received 14 February 2013; Revised 19 May 2013; Accepted 20 May 2013

Academic Editor: Manuel F. Casanova

Copyright © 2013 Miguel Ángel Romero-Munguía. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have impairments in social interaction, communicative capacity, and behavioral flexibility (core triad). Three major cognitive theories (theory of mind deficit, weak central coherence, and executive dysfunction) seem to explain many of these impairments. Currently, however, the empathizing-systemizing (a newer version of the theory of mind deficit account) and mnesic imbalance theories are the only ones that attempt to explain all these core triadic symptoms of ASD On the other hand, theory of mind deficit in empathizing-systemizing theory is the most influential account for ASD, but its counterpart in the mnesic imbalance theory, faulty procedural memory, seems to occur earlier in development; consequently, this might be a better solution to the problem of the etiology of ASD, if it truly meets the precedence criterion. Hence, in the present paper I review the reasoning in favor of the theory of mind deficit but with a new interpretation based on the mnesic imbalance theory, which posits that faulty procedural memory causes deficits in several cognitive skills, resulting in poor performance in theory of mind tasks.