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Theory of Mind in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2013

Yi-Hsing Li
Affiliation:
Division of Clinical Psychology, Yu-Li Hospital, Department of the Health, Executive Yuan, R.O.C., Taipei, Taiwan Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Ming-Jang Chiu
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Graduate Institute of Brain and Mind Sciences, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Neurobiology and Cognitive Science Centre, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Zai-Ting Yeh
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Psychology, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei, Taiwan
Horng-Huei Liou
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Graduate Institute of Brain and Mind Sciences, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Neurobiology and Cognitive Science Centre, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Ting-Wen Cheng
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Mau-Sun Hua*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Graduate Institute of Brain and Mind Sciences, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Neurobiology and Cognitive Science Centre, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Mau-Sun Hua, Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan. E-mail: huams@ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

Theory of mind (ToM) is a crucial aspect of social cognition and is mediated by a complex neural network. Studies on temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) suggest that its neuropathological involvement includes several brain regions. Some regions seem to overlap the neural network responsible for ToM, and this overlap provides an opportunity to explore ToM in TLE patients. Another concern is psychosocial problems in TLE, and the study of ToM in TLE could serve as a basis for further understanding the nature of such psychosocial disturbances. Studies on whether TLE patients evidence ToM deficit, however, are scant and controversial. Consequently, we examine whether ToM deficit is evident in TLE. Thirty-one TLE patients and 24 matched controls were recruited and completed four tasks measuring different levels of ToM: false belief, faux pas recognition, processing of implied meanings, and cartoon ToM. The patients were impaired in both basic and advanced ToM. Right TLE had a more wide-ranging picture of deficit than left TLE. ToM appears to be vulnerable to TLE, especially on the right side. Since ToM might contribute to patients’ psychosocial adjustment, we thus suggest that a ToM measure be included in regular neuropsychological assessments of such patients. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–7)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2013

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