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Cognitive and affective theory of mind abilities in alcohol-dependent patients: The role of autobiographical memory

Abstract : Background Many studies of patients with alcohol dependence (AD) have highlighted their difficulty in identifying both their own emotional state and those of a social partner. We examined (1) the cognitive and affective theory of mind (ToM) abilities of AD patients and (2) how the efficiency of their autobiographical memory (AM) can affect the effectiveness of ToM ability. Method In a cross-sectional design, AD patients (N = 50) and healthy controls (N = 30) completed a ToM movie paradigm (Versailles-Situational Intention Reading, V-SIR) in which they inferred the intentions of characters in movies depicting social interactions, and the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” Test (RMET), which assessed the emotional dimension of the ToM. AM was investigated using the “Autobiographical Memory Interview” (AMI) to assess both episodic and semantic components of AM. Results Concerning ToM, patients with AD showed lower performance in the RMET than control participants, whereas no difference was observed on the V-SIR test. AD patients had lower scores than controls on the AMI, for both episodic and semantic components and for different periods of life. A multiple linear regression analysis also showed that AM deficits might predict lower ToM performance, especially for the RMET task. Conclusions Patients with AD have a specific affective ToM deficit. They used episodic memories to perceive the emotions of others, whereas controls used preferentially semantic memories to perform the task. Both these deficits could constitute a risk of relapse and should be a target for psychotherapeutic interventions.
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Contributeur : Lilloa Université de Lille <>
Soumis le : mercredi 20 janvier 2021 - 15:21:14
Dernière modification le : mardi 14 septembre 2021 - 15:16:09




Jean-Louis Nandrino, Marie-Charlotte Gandolphe, Charlotte Alexandre, Elodie Kmiecik, Jacques Yguel, et al.. Cognitive and affective theory of mind abilities in alcohol-dependent patients: The role of autobiographical memory. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Elsevier, 2014, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 143, pp.65-73. ⟨10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.07.010⟩. ⟨hal-03116736⟩



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