Theory of mind deficits in chronically depressed patients.
ABSTRACT Poor theory of mind (ToM) performance has been found in patients with mood disorders, but it has not been examined in the subgroup of chronic depression where ToM deficits may be even more persistent than in acute depressive episodes. The aim of this study was to compare the ToM performance of chronically depressed patients with a healthy control group and to clarify the relation of ToM to other cognitive functions.
ToM performance was assessed in 30 chronically depressed patients and 30 matched healthy controls by two cartoon picture story tests. In addition, logical memory, alertness, and executive functioning were evaluated.
Chronically depressed patients were markedly impaired in all ToM- and neuropsychological tasks compared to healthy controls. Performance in the different ToM tests was significantly correlated with at least one other cognitive variable. After controlling for logical memory and working memory, no ToM tasks predicted being a patient.
Patients with chronic depression present significant deficits in "reading" social interactions, which may be associated with general cognitive impairments.
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ABSTRACT: Recent researches on theory of mind (ToM) in patients with mood disorders have revealed deficits of ToM ability during episodes. In this study, we aimed to test ToM ability among patients with unipolar or bipolar depression currently in remission. ToM ability and IQ obtained by Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) were evaluated in 50 patients with remitted depression, who met the criteria of mood disorders of DSM-IV, and 50 matched healthy controls. The patients with mood disorders showed statistically significant impairment in a second-order false question (Fisher's Exact Test p < 0.0001). No significant difference was shown in the other three areas of ToM between the patients and the controls. In addition, no correlation of the four areas of ToM with IQ obtained by WAIS-R was found. The relation of ToM deficit to other specific cognitive impairment was not examined. Our results suggest that depressive patients in symptomatic remission have a lower ability of second-order false belief. The ToM impairment suggests a decline of skillful social relationships. Evaluation of ToM ability in depressive patients in remission may be useful to provide treatment for better social adjustment.Journal of Affective Disorders 11/2004; 82(3):403-9. · 3.30 Impact Factor
Article: Cognition in mania and depression.Psychological Medicine 09/2003; 33(6):959-67. · 5.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report a study comparing the narrative abilities of 12 adults with high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) versus 12 matched controls. The study focuses on the use of referential expressions (temporal expressions and anaphoric pronouns) during a story-telling task. The aim was to assess pragmatics skills in people with HFA/AS in whom linguistic impairments are more subtle than in classic autism. We predicted no significant differences in general narrative abilities between the two groups, but specific pragmatic deficits in people with AS. We predicted they use fewer personal pronouns, temporal expressions and referential expressions, which require theory of mind abilities. Results confirmed both predictions. These findings provide initial evidence of how social impairments can produce mild linguistic impairments.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 02/2008; 38(1):28-40. · 3.34 Impact Factor