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Cognitive Atypicality

Cognition can be thought of as the sum total of an individual’s nonemotional mental activities—his or her capacity to attend to and perceive the world, to record and retrieve memories of these perceptions, and to use these memories to interact with the world in an adaptive manner that promotes individual and group survival. The concept of atypicality inevitably implies typicality: Atypical cognition must necessarily relate to some conception of what constitutes typical cognition.

Moreover, from a developmental point of view, we need to ask whether atypicality is a result of delayed or different development or perhaps both. These considerations in turn raise questions about the consequences of an atypical cognitive profile for an individual’s real-world adaptation. What are the implications of the existence of different forms ...

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