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Soc Neurosci. 2010;5(3):296-308. doi: 10.1080/17470910903462419. Epub 2010 Feb 15.

Social cognition in individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum.

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Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, Pasadena, CA, USA.


Past research has revealed that individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) have deficits in interhemispheric transfer, complex novel problem-solving, and the comprehension of paralinguistic aspects of language. Case studies and family reports also suggest problems in social cognition. The performance of 11 individuals with complete ACC and with normal intelligence was compared to that of 13 IQ- and age-matched controls on three measures of social cognition. Individuals with ACC were indistinguishable from controls on the Happe Theory of Mind Stories and the Adult Faux Pas Test, but performed significantly worse on various portions of the Thames Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT) involving interpretations of videotaped social vignettes. Further analysis of the TASIT indicated that individuals with ACC showed deficiency in the recognition of emotion, weakness in understanding paradoxical sarcasm, and particular difficulty interpreting textual versus visual social cues. These results suggest that the tendency for deficient social cognition in individuals with ACC stems from a combination of difficulty integrating information from multiple sources, using paralinguistic cues for emotion, and understanding nonliteral speech. Together, these deficits would contribute to a less robust theory of mind.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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