On the Peculiarities of Default Reasoning of Children with Autism

Boris Galitsky and Don Peterson, University of London

We employ the formalism of default logic to model certain phenomena of autistic reasoning. Our main finding is that while people with autism may be able to process single default rules, they have a characteristic difficulty in cases where multiple default rules conflict. Even though default reasoning was intended to simulate the reasoning of typical human subjects, it turns out that following the operational semantics of default reasoning in a literal way leads to the peculiarities of autistic behavior observed in the literature.

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