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Title: Social-emotional processing and executive functions in Tourette's syndrome
Author: Drury, H. M.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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Tourette’s syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder often associated with social difficulties and inappropriate behaviours (e.g. Kurlan et al., 1996). These behavioural difficulties may indicate impairment on aspects of social-emotional processing, but may also be related to impairments in executive functions which have been reported in TS, particularly for aspects of inhibition. This thesis aims to examine different aspects of social-emotional processing and executive functions in TS, and to assess the possible contribution of executive processes. A series of experimental studies was conducted to compare those with TS to healthy matched control participants. With respect to social-emotional processing, ability to decode social-emotional cues, to regulate emotional experience, and to regulate social behaviour according to context, and possible executive contributions to these processes were examined. Further studies extended previous research by examining inhibitory functions not previously assessed in TS, and explored the contribution of task complexity to inhibitory performance. The findings of the experimental studies are considered in the context of recent models of social-emotional processing (Ochsner, 2008), executive functions (Miyake et al., 2000) and inhibition (Nigg, 2000). Several alternative explanations of the findings of this thesis were identified: selective inhibitory impairment, level of executive task demands, or multiple deficits in executive and social-emotional processing. The applicability of these different explanations to the findings is discussed, and the implications of the findings are reviewed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available