Social Cognition in Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum: Latent Semantic Analysis of the Awareness of Consequences Scale

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Individuals with primary agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) have exhibited significant impairments in cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning, even when IQ is relatively intact. Previous studies that required participants to describe the thoughts and feelings of the main character of a story involved in a social dilemma indicated that individuals with primary ACC were worse than controls at identifying the consequences that their actions may have on others (Folsom, 2009; Symington, 2004). In addition, the responses of the primary ACC group were deficient in cognitive and emotional content. The current study compared individuals with ACC to age- and IQ-matched controls on the Awareness of Consequences Scale (AOCS; Schwartz, 1968a), a measure of social inference. Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) was utilized to compare the responses of individuals with primary ACC to the most prototypical responses of age- and IQ-matched controls using a boot-strapping comparison procedure. It was hypothesized that the primary ACC group would provide responses that were less similar to prototypical responses than controls. Individuals with ACC provided responses that were more atypical than controls on 5 out of 6 vignettes. The differences were statistically significant for 2 of the vignettes. These findings implied that impaired theory of mind in individuals with ACC is due to deficits in attending to and integrating relevant social information, imagining the consequences of actions, and inferring the thoughts of others.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

First Advisor

Brown, Warren S.

Document Type





Corpus callosum, Agenesis of corpus callosum, Cognition, Social perception, Scale analysis




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