Social Cognition in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Prof Doc Thesis

Morgan, Lisa 2011. Social Cognition in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsMorgan, Lisa
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This study addressed social cognition in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Social cognition encompasses a range of functions, for example, those requiring the attribution of emotional states, and those requiring mental state inferences to be made ('theory of mind'). The area of social cognition has evolved from developmental explanations of theory of mind, which have been extrapolated for their empirical application to adult populations, often using neuroimaging and neuropsychological paradigms. The present study may help to
raise awareness of social cognitive difficulties in TLE and may inform clinical neuropsychological assessment protocols.
A feature of the existing literature is the lack of consistency in methodologies.
This study drew upon methodology described in previous relevant studies in order that findings were more comparable. A range of standardised measures of general intellectual functioning, verbal and visual memory, and verbal and nonverbal executive function tasks were administered alongside social cognition tasks, assessing recognition of emotional expressions, attributing mental states to eyes, attributing mental state inferences in stories and cartoons, and detecting and describing violations of social etiquette.
A group of 25 patients with TLE were compared with 42 typically developed and intact (TDI) participants matched for age, education and general abilities. The TLE group scored lower on all social cognition measures, but in the context of similar difficulties in visual and verbal memory, and verbal aspects of executive functioning. There were no significant effects of laterality (hemispheric focus of the TLE). Variables influencing performance on social cognition tasks were examined. The results are discussed in terms of the relevant literature and
possible underlying mechanisms of difficulties, and recommendations for future research made on this basis.

Publication dates
PrintJan 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Jun 2014
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