Citation Nicholson T, Williams DM, Grainger C, Lind SE & Carruthers P (2019) Relationships between implicit and explicit uncertainty monitoring and mindreading: Evidence from autism spectrum disorder. Consciousness and Cognition, 70, pp. 11-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2019.01.013
Abstract We examined performance on implicit (non-verbal) and explicit (verbal) uncertainty-monitoring tasks among neurotypical participants and participants with autism, while also testing mindreading abilities in both groups. We found that: (i) performance of autistic participants was unimpaired on the implicit uncertainty-monitoring task, while being significantly impaired on the explicit task; (ii) performance on the explicit task was correlated with performance on mindreading tasks in both groups, whereas performance on the implicit uncertainty-monitoring task was not; and (iii) performance on implicit and explicit uncertainty-monitoring tasks was not correlated. The results support the view that (a) explicit uncertainty-monitoring draws on the same cognitive faculty as mindreading whereas (b) implicit uncertainty-monitoring only test first-order decision making. These findings support the theory that metacognition and mindreading are underpinned by the same meta-representational faculty/resources, and that the implicit uncertainty-monitoring tasks that are frequently used with non-human animals fail to demonstrate the presence of metacognitive abilities.