Impaired social behavior in children with benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes

J Child Neurol. 2012 Feb;27(2):156-61. doi: 10.1177/0883073811414420. Epub 2011 Aug 24.


The aim of the present study was to assess the emotional and cognitive aspects of social cognition among patients with rolandic epilepsy. A computerized neuropsychological battery was used for cognitive evaluation. Affective and cognitive social cognition were evaluated using two computerized Theory of Mind tasks. Cognitive abilities and social behavior of 15 children, diagnosed with rolandic epilepsy, ages 7 to 13 years were assessed and compared with 15 age- and education-matched healthy controls. Compared with controls, the epileptic patients had lower scores on verbal and visual learning rate parameters and on verbal processing and were significantly impaired on "affective Theory of Mind" tasks but not on "cognitive Theory of Mind" conditions. Our findings raise the possibility that rolandic epilepsy may affect neural networks affecting cognition and mediating social cognition essential for social behavior, thus challenging the benign nature of the condition.

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Empathy
  • Epilepsy, Rolandic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Perception*
  • Theory of Mind*