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Social cognition in neurodegenerative disorders: a systematic review
  1. Marwa Elamin1,
  2. Niall Pender2,
  3. Orla Hardiman1,3,
  4. S Abrahams4
  1. 1Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Department of Psychology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3Department of Neurology, Beaumont Hospital Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  4. 4Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Epidemiology, The Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marwa Elamin, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin D2, Ireland; marwaelamin08{at}


Social cognitive neuroscience is the study of the neurobiological systems underlying effective social behaviour. The neural processes supporting effective social interactions in everyday life and the consequences of dysfunction in these processes have been the focus of intense research over the last two decades. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the identification of social cognitive deficits in neurodegenerative conditions and their neural basis may provide a better understanding of the behavioural changes observed in these disorders. In addition, accumulating data suggest that detection of early impairment in social cognitive skills may aid in the early diagnosis of cognitive or behavioural impairment in some of these disorders, and may even play a role in the investigation of new therapeutic options. In this review, we outline the basic components of social cognitive processing, provide a systematic review of the literature pertaining to common neurodegenerative conditions, discuss current controversies and make recommendations for future research.

  • ALS
  • motor neuron disease
  • dementia
  • cognitive neuropsychology
  • neuropsychology
  • * new 1998
  • myopathy
  • cognitive impairment

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The authors will be happy to supply upon request the data used in this review, that is, the details of article selection process.