Social cognition in neuropsychology: A nationwide survey revealing current representations and practices

Appl Neuropsychol Adult. 2022 Apr 29:1-14. doi: 10.1080/23279095.2022.2061859. Online ahead of print.


As a key domain of cognition, social cognition abilities are altered in a wide range of clinical groups. Accordingly, many clinical tests and theories of social cognition have been developed these last decades. Contrasting this abundant development from a research perspective, recent evidence suggests that social cognition remains rarely addressed from a clinial perspective. The aim of the present research was to characterize the current practices, representations, and needs linked to social cognition from the perspective of professional neuropsychologists and graduate students. A nationwide survey allowed us to determine the classical field conception of social cognition and its associated symptoms or notions. It also allowed us to quantify practice activities and the use of the different clinical tools available. This study revealed that neuropsychologists lack confidence regarding social cognition assessment and its rehabilitation, and that students are in demand for more knowledge and training. Suggestions of change in practices and dissemination of knowledge are discussed. Considering the importance of social cognition, an extension of initial and continuous training alongside an enrichment of interactions between researchers and clinicians were key recommendations to formulate, as well as the need for a consensual lexicon of current concepts.

Keywords: Current practices; emotion; empathy; mentalizing; neuropsychology; social cognition; theory of mind.