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Emotional Consciousness in Autism

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An abundant literature on autism shows differences in emotional consciousness between neurotypical and autistic people. This paper proposes an interpretation of these results through a conceptual clarification of emotional consciousness. It suggests that autistic people generally access their emotions through a thirdperson's perspective whereas neurotypical people's emotions reach consciousness via first-person access. This interpretation is based on a model of 'emotional consciousness' that applies leading theories of consciousness to emotions as well as on research on the way autistic people relate to their own emotions. This model differentiates two routes through which emotions can access consciousness. Therefore, research on emotions in autism helps to give a more complete account for emotional consciousness in general.
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Keywords: autism; consciousness; emotions; feelings; first-person; third-person

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, USA., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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