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Theory of Mind Impairments Highlighted With an Ecological Performance-Based Test Indicate Behavioral Executive Deficits in Traumatic Brain Injury

Abstract : Background: In view of the recent literature, the negative impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on social cognition remains a debated issue. On one hand, a considerable number of studies reported significant impairments in emotion recognition, empathy, moral reasoning, social problem solving, and mentalizing or theory of mind (ToM) abilities in patients with TBI. On the other hand, the ecological validity of social cognition tasks is still a matter of concern and debate for clinicians and researchers. Objectives: The objectives of the present study were 2-fold: (1) to assess social cognition in TBI with an ecological performance-based test which focuses on ToM ability, and (2) to study the relationship between performances on this task and behavioral disorders. To this end, 47 patients with moderate to severe TBI in the chronic stage were assessed with a ToM task, the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC), a film displaying social interactions in natural settings and asking for an evaluation of the emotions, thoughts, and intentions of the characters. Behavioral disorders were assessed with the Behavioral Dysexecutive Syndrome Inventory (BDSI), a structured interview of an informant in assessing changes compared with previous behavior in 12 domains. Results: Patients were significantly less accurate in mental state attribution than a demographically matched group of 38 healthy control subjects. Significant others of patients also reported more behavioral executive problems than controls' relatives on most of the domains of the BDSI. In addition, social cognition performance in the MASC was significantly correlated with behavioral dysexecutive problems rated by proxies on the BDSI. Conclusions: This study is the first to find association between impairments in mentalizing abilities in the MASC and behavioral impairments in patients with TBI, confirming the added value of this ecological task and that the recognition of social signals is a key element for adequate behavioral functioning. Copyright © 2020 Allain, Hamon, Saoût, Verny, Dinomais and Besnard.
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https://hal.univ-angers.fr/hal-02510275
Contributeur : Marie-Françoise Gerard <>
Soumis le : mardi 17 mars 2020 - 16:06:41
Dernière modification le : lundi 15 juin 2020 - 18:32:50

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Philippe Allain, Martin Hamon, Virginie Saoût, Christophe Verny, Mickaël Dinomais, et al.. Theory of Mind Impairments Highlighted With an Ecological Performance-Based Test Indicate Behavioral Executive Deficits in Traumatic Brain Injury. Frontiers in Neurology, Frontiers, 2020, 10, pp.1367. ⟨10.3389/fneur.2019.01367⟩. ⟨hal-02510275⟩

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