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Neuropsychologia. 2010 Jan;48(1):43-50. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.08.009.

Social narratives in agenesis of the corpus callosum: linguistic analysis of the Thematic Apperception Test.

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The Travis Research Institute, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, 180 N. Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA.


In a previous study, individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) with normal intelligence provided narratives to pictures from the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) that were limited in logical coherence and social awareness. The current study examined the linguistic content of TAT stories from 22 persons with isolated complete ACC compared to 30 IQ- and age-matched controls using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (Pennebaker et al., 2001). Compared to controls, individuals with ACC used fewer words pertaining to emotionality, cognitive processes, and social processes. They also used relatively more present tense verbs and first person pronouns. These findings suggest that callosal agenesis results in deficiencies in imagining and inferring the mental, emotional, and social functioning of others as implied by TAT pictures, and in translating this content into a narrative. In addition, ACC affects the grammatical structure of verbally produced narratives, with greater emphasis on the present tense and the first person.

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