A meta-analytic review of theory of mind difficulties in behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia

Henry, Julie D., Phillips, Louise H. and Von Hippel, Courtney (2014) A meta-analytic review of theory of mind difficulties in behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia. Neuropsychologia, 56 1: 53-62. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.12.024

Author Henry, Julie D.
Phillips, Louise H.
Von Hippel, Courtney
Title A meta-analytic review of theory of mind difficulties in behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia
Journal name Neuropsychologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-3932
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.12.024
Open Access Status
Volume 56
Issue 1
Start page 53
End page 62
Total pages 10
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Subject 2802 Behavioral Neuroscience
2805 Cognitive Neuroscience
3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
1201 Architecture
Abstract Theory of mind (ToM) refers broadly to our understanding of others' complex emotions and mental states. Deficits in ToM are widely regarded as one of the key defining features of the behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), which is unsurprising given the key role that frontal and temporal neural systems are considered to play in mental state decoding. Here we report the first meta-analysis of this literature, providing a timely summary of the breadth, magnitude and specificity of ToM difficulties in this population. Across 15 datasets involving 800 participants (312 with bvFTD and for comparative purposes, 325 non-clinical controls and 163 participants with Alzheimer's disease), several key results emerged. Collapsed across all types of task, people with bvFTD performed more poorly than non-clinical controls, with the degree of ToM difficulty they experienced large in magnitude (r=-.60). These deficits were greater than those observed on control tasks matched to the ToM task in their general cognitive demands, but which can be solved without any mentalistic inference. BvFTD-related ToM difficulties were also significantly larger than the ToM difficulties seen in people with Alzheimer's disease. However, ToM difficulties in people with bvFTD were of a similar magnitude to the difficulties seen on measures of more basic social cue perception (emotion recognition). These data have important implications for understanding the types of ToM difficulties associated with bvFTD.
Keyword Frontotemporal dementia
Quantitative review
Social cognition
Theory of mind
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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