Cambridge UniversitySimon Baron-Cohen Lab, Psychology · Visiting ScholarUnited Kingdom
UC DavisCenter for Neuroscience · Postdoctoral Fellowship
University of MichiganEvolution & Human Behavior Program · Postdoctoral Fellowship
StanfordPsychology · Ph.D.
HarvardAstrophysics · B.A.
National Academy of Neuropsychology, APA
Editorial Board, Associate Editor, Social Neuroscience, 2006-2010
Board member, Guardianship Alliance of Colorado, 2008-present
Article: Theory of mind in patients with frontal variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease: theoretical and practical implications.Carol Gregory, Sinclair Lough, Valerie Stone, Sharon Erzinclioglu, Louise Martin, Simon Baron-Cohen, John R Hodges[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A key aspect of social cognition is the ability to infer other people's mental states, thoughts and feelings; referred to as 'theory of mind' (ToM). We tested the hypothesis that the changes in personality and behaviour seen in frontal variant frontotemporal dementia (fvFTD) may reflect impairment in this cognitive domain. Tests of ToM, executive and general neuropsychological ability were given to 19 fvFTD patients, a comparison group of Alzheimer's disease patients (n = 12) and matched healthy controls (n = 16). Neuropsychiatric assessment was undertaken using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Patients with fvFTD were impaired on all tests of ToM (first-order false belief; second-order false belief; faux pas detection; and Reading the Mind in the Eyes), but had no difficulty with control questions designed to test general comprehension and memory. By contrast, the Alzheimer's disease group failed only one ToM task (second-order false belief), which places heavy demands on working memory. Performance on the faux pas test revealed a double dissociation, with the fvFTD group showing deficits on ToM-based questions and the Alzheimer's disease group failing memory-based questions only. Rank order of the fvFTD patients according to the magnitude of impairment on tests of ToM and their degree of frontal atrophy showed a striking concordance between ToM performances and ventromedial frontal damage. There was a significant correlation between the NPI score and more sophisticated tests of ToM in the fvFTD group. This study supports the hypothesis that patients with fvFTD, but not those with Alzheimer's disease, are impaired on tests of ToM, and may explain some of the abnormalities in interpersonal behaviour that characterize fvFTD.Brain 05/2002; 125(Pt 4):752-64. · 9.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recognizing facial emotions is an important aspect of interpersonal communication that may be impaired in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The authors examined facial emotion matching, facial emotion labeling, and same--different emotion differentiation in AD patients, healthy elderly volunteers, and elderly, nondemented psychiatric outpatients. Compared with both control groups, AD patients were significantly impaired on all three measures. AD patients were also impaired on a facial identity matching task. Using facial identity matching scores as a covariate provided evidence suggesting the facial emotion processing deficit may be independent of impairment in nonemotional face processing. AD patients also had selective impairment in labeling facial expressions of sadness. The authors conclude that patients with AD have deficits in recognizing facial emotions, which may be independent of their impairment in recognizing nonemotional features of faces.Journal of Neuropsychiatry 02/2002; 14(1):64-71. · 2.51 Impact Factor
Article: Recognition of Faux Pas by Normally Developing Children and Children with Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Most theory of mind (ToM) tests are designed for subjects with a mental age of 4–6 years. There are very few ToM tests for subjects who are older or more able than this. We report a new test of ToM, designed for children 7–11 years old. The task involves recognizing faux pas. Study 1 tested 7–9, and 11-year-old normal children. Results showed that the ability to detect faux pas developed with age and that there was a differential developmental profile between the two sexes (female superiority). Study 2 tested children with Asperger syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA), selected for being able to pass traditional 4- to 6-year level (first- and second-order) false belief tests. Results showed that whereas normal 9- to 11-year-old children were skilled at detecting faux pas, children with AS or HFA were impaired on this task. Study 3 reports a refinement in the test, employing control stimuli. This replicated the results from Study 2. Some patients with AS or HFA were able to recognize faux pas but still produced them. Future research should assess faux pas production.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 09/1999; 29(5):407-418. · 3.34 Impact Factor