Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Perspective taking in Korsakoff's syndrome: the role of executive functioning and task complexity

  • Joukje M. Oosterman (a1), Maartje de Goede (a2), Arie J. Wester (a3), Martine J. E. van Zandvoort (a4) (a5) and Roy P. C. Kessels (a1)...

Extract

Oosterman JM, de Goede M, Wester AJ, van Zandvoort MJE, Kessels RPC. Perspective taking in Korsakoff's syndrome: the role of executive functioning and task complexity.

Objective: The ability to make inferences about knowledge, thoughts and feelings of others, i.e. perspective taking, is a key element of social cognition. Clinical observations indicate that Korsakoff patients may have impairments in social cognition, but studies are scarce. Also, executive dysfunction is present in Korsakoff patients, which may hamper perspective taking directly.

Methods: Twenty-three patients with Korsakoff's syndrome and 15 healthy matched controls were examined on a story comprehension task, in which inferences had to be made that either relied on perspective taking or not. The effects of task complexity were taken into account and executive function was assessed using an extensive neuropsychological test battery.

Results: The performance of Korsakoff patients declined with increasing complexity, but the pattern of decline for perspective-taking and non-perspective-taking stories was similar compared to that of the control group. Furthermore, the performance decline with increasing task complexity was directly related to the overall decline in executive functioning.

Conclusion: Executive dysfunction, not deficits in perspective taking per se, appears to underlie difficulties in story comprehension in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Roy P. C. Kessels, PhD, Donders Centre for Cognition, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, PO Box 9104, 6500 HE, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 24 3612541; Fax: +31 24 3616066; E-mail: r.kessels@donders.ru.nl

References

Hide All
1.Visser, PJ, Krabbendam, L, Verhey, FRJ et al. Brain correlates of memory dysfunction in alcoholic Korsakoff's syndrome. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1999;67:774778.
2.Reed, LJ, Lasserson, D, Marsden, P et al. FDG-PET findings in the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Cortex 2003;39:10271045.
3.Montagne, B, Kessels, RPC, Wester, AJ et al. Processing of emotional facial expressions in Korsakoff's syndrome. Cortex 2006;42:705710.
4.Snits, BE, Hellinger, A, Daum, J.Impaired processing of affective prosody in Korsakoff's syndrome. Cortex 2002;38:797803.
5.Corcoran, R.Autonoetic awareness, executive social skills, and the appreciation of intention: figurative reasoning in amnesia, confabulation, and schizophrenia. Cogn Neuropsychiatry 1999;4:5580.
6.Egger, JIM, Wester, AJ, De Mey, HRA et al. Korsakoff's syndrome on the MMPI-2. Acta Neuropsychiatr 2002;14: 231236.
7.Schiffman, J, Lam, CW, Jiwatram, T et al. Perspective-taking deficits in people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders: a prospective investigation. Psychol Med 2004;34:15811586.
8.Reed, T.Visual perspective taking as a measure of working memory in participants with autism. J Dev Phys Disabil 2002;14:6376.
9.D'Argembeau, A, Ruby, P, Collette, F et al. Distinct regions of the medial prefrontal cortex are associated with self-referential processing and perspective taking. J Cogn Neurosci 2007;19:935944.
10.Samson, D, Apperly, IA, Humphreys, GW.Error analyses reveal contrasting deficits in “theory of mind”: neuropsychological evidence from a 3-option false belief task. Neuropsychologia 2007;45:25612569.
11.Uekermann, J, Daum, I.Social cognition in alcoholism: a link to prefrontal cortex dysfunction? Addiction 2008;103:726735.
12.Van Oort, R, Kessels, RPC.Executive dysfunction in Korsakoff's syndrome: time to revise the DSM criteria for alcohol-induced persisting amnestic disorder? Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract 2008;63:13441349.
13.Joyce, EM, Robbins, TW.Frontal lobe function in Korsakoff and non-Korsakoff alcoholics: planning and spatial working memory. Neuropsychologia 1991;29:709723.
14.Kessels, RPC, Kortrijk, HE, Wester, J et al. Confabulation behavior and false memories in Korsakoff's syndrome: role of source memory and executive functioning. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2008;62:220225.
15.American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Text revision, 4th edn. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.
16.Kopelman, MD.Disorders of memory. Brain 2002;125:21522190.
17.Oslin, D, Atkinson, RM, Smith, DM et al. Alcohol related dementia: proposed clinical criteria. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 1998;13:203212.
18.Wechsler, D.Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, 3rd edn. San Antonio: Psychological Corporation, 1997.
19.Luteijn, F, Van der Ploeg, FAE.Groninger intelligentie test (GIT). Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger, 1983.
20.Wechsler, D.Manual of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised. New York: Psychological Corporation, 1974.
21.Burgess, PW, Shallice, T.Hayling and Brixton tests. Bury St Edmunds: Thames Valley Test Company, 1997.
22.Ward, LC, Ryan, JJ, Axelrod, BN.Confirmatory factor analyses of the WAIS-III standardization data. Psychol Assess 2000;12:341345.
23.Happé, FG.An advanced test of theory of mind: understanding of story characters' thoughts and feelings by able autistic, mentally handicapped, and normal children and adults. J Autism Dev Disord 1994;24:129154.
24.Mar, RA.The neuropsychology of narrative: story comprehension, story production and their interrelation. Neuropsychologia 2004;42:14141434.
25.Happé, F, Malhi, GS, Checkley, S.Acquired mind-blindness following frontal lobe surgery? A single case study of impaired ‘theory of mind' in a patient treated with stereotactic anterior capsulotomy. Neuropsychologia 2001;39:8390.
26.Rowe, AD, Bullock, PR, Polkey, CE et al. ‘Theory of mind' impairments and their relationship to executive functioning following frontal lobe excisions. Brain 2001;124:600616.
27.Couture, SM, Granholm, EL, Fish, SC.A path model investigation of neurocognition, theory of mind, social competence, negative symptoms and real-world functioning in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res 2011;125:152160.
28.Couture, SM, Penn, DL, Roberts, DL.The functional significance of social cognition in schizophrenia: a review. Schizophr Bull 2006;32(Suppl. 1):S44S63.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Perspective taking in Korsakoff's syndrome: the role of executive functioning and task complexity

  • Joukje M. Oosterman (a1), Maartje de Goede (a2), Arie J. Wester (a3), Martine J. E. van Zandvoort (a4) (a5) and Roy P. C. Kessels (a1)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.