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Title: Social perception and executive function following stroke
Author: Lorimer, Angus F.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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Components of social perception include the ability to recognise and interpret both verbal and non-verbal emotional cues, such as vocal tone and facial expression. Functional brain imaging studies have shown that the frontal cortex of the brain is more active during tasks involving social and emotional perception (Baron-Cohen et ah, 1994). Individuals with frontal lobe lesions have been shown to have acquired difficulties in emotional and social functioning similar to those in which social functioning deficits are frequently observed, such as people with autism (Baron-Cohen, 1985). Difficulties in emotional perception has also been found in individuals who have sustained a brain injury (Cicone et ah, 1980). Additionally, acquired social perception deficits have been observed in stroke patients (Happe et ah, 1999). Executive functioning is also seen as being mediated by the frontal cortex (Dela Salla et ah, 1998). The aim of this present study was to investigate executive function and social perception in post-stroke individuals. The hypotheses were that stroke patients would show a reduced ability in social perception compared to matched controls and that executive functioning would be positively associated with social perception. Twenty-two individuals who had experienced a stroke were assessed on tasks of executive function and compared to a control group on tasks of emotional perception and social awareness. The results were analysed within and between groups and are discussed with reference to theories linking executive function and social perception with the frontal cortex. The findings of this present study indicated no significant differences in the recognition of emotion between individuals who have sustained lesions to the brain following stroke and age-matched controls. Also, no significant differences were found on tasks of social perception relative to controls. However, there is some evidence to suggest that the control group may have performed at an unexpectedly low level. Significant and positive associations were observed between executive function and both emotion recognition tasks and tasks of social perception. Methodological issues and conclusions are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available