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Deficits in comprehension of speech acts after TBI: The role of theory of mind and executive function


Honan, CA and McDonald, S and Gowland, A and Fisher, A and Randall, RK, Deficits in comprehension of speech acts after TBI: The role of theory of mind and executive function, Brain and Language, 150 pp. 69-79. ISSN 0093-934X (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2015.08.007


Theory of mind (ToM) is critical to effective communication following traumatic brain injury (TBI) however, whether impairments are specific to social cognition, or reflective of executive demands is unclear. This study examined whether ToM impairments are predicted by executive function difficulties using everyday conversation tasks. Twenty-five individuals with severe-TBI were compared to 25 healthy controls on low- and high-ToM tasks across four conditions: (1) low cognitive load, (2) high flexibility, (3) high working memory (WM) and (4) high inhibition. TBI individuals were impaired on high-ToM tasks in the WM condition. When the WM demands of the task were controlled, the impairments were no longer apparent. TBI individuals were not impaired on high-ToM tasks in the inhibition and flexibility conditions, suggesting these tasks may not have been sufficiently demanding of ToM abilities. The results suggest that ToM impairments in everyday communication may arise due to WM demands, in individuals with TBI.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Honan, CA (Dr Cynthia Honan)
ID Code:104544
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2015-11-16
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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