Social Disinhibition: Piloting a New Clinical Measure in Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury
Honan, CA and Allen, SK and Fisher, A and Osborne-Crowley, K and McDonald, S, Social Disinhibition: Piloting a New Clinical Measure in Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain Impairment pp. 1-14. ISSN 1443-9646 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Social disinhibition difficulties are common following traumatic brain injury (TBI).
However, clinically sensitive tools to objectively assess the difficulties are lacking.
This study aimed to pilot a new clinical measure of social disinhibition, the social
disinhibition task (SDT). Whether social disinhibition is dependent on the type of
social information judgements required and whether disinhibited responses can
be adjusted with additional guidance were also examined. Participants were 31
adults (25 Male) with moderate-to-severe TBI and 22 adult (17 Male) healthy
control participants. Participants viewed scenes of complex social situations and
were asked to describe a character in them (Part A), describe a character while
inhibiting inappropriate or negative responses (Part B), and describe a character
while not only inhibiting negative responses, but also providing positive responses
(Part C). One-half of the items contained a faux pas requiring participants to make
inferences about a character’s mental state. TBI and control participants responded
similarly to Part A, although control participants responded less positively than TBI
participants in the faux pas items. TBI participants were significantly impaired on
Part B indicating they experienced difficulties in inhibiting automatic responding.
TBI participants were however able to adjust their responding in Part C so that
they respond similarly to the control participants. Between group differences were
not detected in reaction time. Overall, the SDT appears to be suitable to detect
social inhibition difficulties in clinical settings and provides a new direction for
remediation of the difficulties in individuals with TBI.
social cognition, traumatic brain injury, social disinhibition, theory of mind