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Neuropsychology. 2004 Jul;18(3):572-9.

Social perception deficits after traumatic brain injury: interaction between emotion recognition, mentalizing ability, and social communication.

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School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Thirty-four adults with severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and 34 matched control participants were asked to interpret videotaped conversational exchanges. Study participants were asked to judge the speakers' emotions, the speakers' beliefs (first-order theory of mind), what the speakers intended their conversational partners to believe (second-order theory of mind), and what they meant by remarks that were sincere or literally untrue (i.e., a lie or sarcastic retort). The TBI group had marked difficulty judging most facets of social information. They could recognize speaker beliefs only when this information was explicitly provided. In general, emotion recognition and first-order theory of mind judgments were not related to the ability to understand social (conversational) inference, whereas second-order theory of mind judgments were related to that ability.

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