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The multisensory base of bodily coupling in face-to-face social interactions: Contrasting the case of autism with the Möbius syndrome

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Schilbach,  Leonhard
Independent Max Planck Research Group Social Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Ciaunica, A., Schilbach, L., & Deroy, O. (2018). The multisensory base of bodily coupling in face-to-face social interactions: Contrasting the case of autism with the Möbius syndrome. PHILOSOPHICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 31(8), 1162-1187. doi:10.1080/09515089.2018.1504908.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-73C6-D
Zusammenfassung
The perennial question of how we understand others' emotions and mental states has undertaken an interactive turn, emphasizing the crucial role of low-level bodily coupling and second-personal engagements with others as opposed to the individualistic procedure of mental state attribution or mindreading. This raises the important question of what counts as foundational for socio-emotional understanding: high-level mentalistic abilities, low-level bodily coupling, or an integrative combination of both? Recent findings on face-based emotion-recognition in individuals with Mobius syndrome (MS) - a rare form of congenital facial paralysis which prevents facial mimicry - cast doubt on the idea that bodily coupling is the foundational component for socio-emotional understanding. Here we argue that the MS case does not pose a threat to the idea that low-level bodily coupling processes are foundational for social cognition. Rather, despite their lack of automatic facial mirroring, MS patients might benefit from spared multisensory integration processing which allows them to establish alternative channels of bodily coupling via different sensory modalities. We contrast MS- and autistic persons' lack of automatic facial mimicry and argue that this comparison might help us to shed light on the constitutive and foundational role of low-level bodily coupling for socio-emotional understanding.