Unraveling Autistic Consciousness

A Phenomenological Perspective on Perception, Memory, and the Bergsonian Mind


  • Ana Elisabeth Barreto de Barros Fundação Municipal de Saúde de Niterói
  • Antonio Roazzi Universidade Federal de Pernambuco https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6411-2763
  • Alexsandro Medeiros do Nascimento Universidade Federal de Pernambuco https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9981-8384
  • Bruno Campello de Souza Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
  • Suely Aparecida do Nascimento Mascarenhas Universidade Federal do Amazonas


Autism, Bergsonian Philosophy, Motor Stereotypies, Phenomenology and Cognitive Schema


This article explores the underlying mechanisms of motor and language disorders in autism, employing a propositional critique based on Henri Bergson's philosophical framework. Building upon Eugène Minkowski's application of Bergsonian philosophy, this study reexamines theoretical assumptions in psychiatric research, with a particular focus on schizophrenia and its parallels to autism. In the field of phenomenological studies, this investigation pioneers the application of Bergsonian analysis to autism, dissecting non-social behaviors like stereotypies, echolalia, and exceptional memory. More specifically, based on these propositions, we challenge the prevailing assumption of a dichotomy between physical and subjective states that underpins autism research in psychiatry and cognitive psychology. On the contrary, we propose that autism signifies a comprehensive alteration in existential experience, rather than a collection of isolated symptoms. Therefore, establishing as a fundamental idea the existence of an imbalance between perception and memory, we consider that speech and motor "stereotypes", more than mere repetitive and involuntary acts, are part of the subject's creative effort to integrate self-experience. (In regard to) Concerning the conception of cognition, we argue for a broader cognitive model in autism that integrates brain function with motor schemas and environmental interactions. In fact, by examining the problem in its historical, philosophical, and cognitive dimensions, our analysis endeavors to enrich dialogues on pathological phenomenology and consciousness, while critically appraising modern interpretations of autism that overemphasize organic causality. Ultimately, we question the reductionist view that attributes autistic behaviors solely to organic causes and prioritizes social interaction deficits.


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Biografia do Autor

Ana Elisabeth Barreto de Barros, Fundação Municipal de Saúde de Niterói

Ph.D., Fundação Municipal de Saúde de Niterói,

E-mail: anabethbb@hotmail.com

http://lattes. https://lattes.cnpq.br/0205120911676620

https://orcid..org 009-00505993739

Antonio Roazzi, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

Ph.D., Departamento de Psicologia – Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)

E-mail: roazzi@gmail.com




Alexsandro Medeiros do Nascimento, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

Alexsandro Medeiros do Nascimento

Doutor, Departamento de Psicologia – Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) – Coordenador do Laboratório de Estudos de Autoconsciência, Consciência, Cognição de Alta Ordem e Self (LACCOS)

E-mail: alexsandro.mnascimento@ufpe.br 



Bruno Campello de Souza , Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

Ph.D. Departamento de Ciências Administrativas (DCA) da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE). Recife/Pernambuco/Brasil.

E-mail: bcampello@uol.com.br



Suely Aparecida do Nascimento Mascarenhas, Universidade Federal do Amazonas

Doutora em Diagnóstico e avaliação educativa-psicopedagogia pela Universidade da Coruña. Professora da Univ. Federal do Amazonas - Campus do Vale do Rio Madeira. E-mail: suelymascarenhas2019@gmail.com