Details are given of a new advanced theory of mind task, developed to appro
ximate che demands of real-life mentalizing in able individuals with autism
. Excerpts of films showing characters in social situations were presented.
with participants required to answer questions on characters' mental state
s and on control, nonsocial questions. When compared with control participa
nts, adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome were most im
paired in their ability to answer the questions requiring mind-reading abil
ity. Although the present findings have implications for task modification,
such naturalistic, dynamic stimuli are held to offer an important means of
studying subtle difficulties in mentalistic understanding.