Literature Review

Patients with Epilepsy May Lack Essential Social Cognition Skills

Patients had difficulty recognizing several negative emotions while viewing videos.


Patients with epilepsy seem to have difficulty recognizing certain emotional states, according to a recent study that used video simulations to evaluate patients’ social cognition skills. When researchers administered the Awareness of Social Inference Test to 43 patients with focal epilepsy and 22 controls, using a video format, they found that neither group had trouble identifying positive emotional states like happiness; but patients with epilepsy had difficulty recognizing negative emotions such as anger, fear, and disgust. The study suggests that standard psychometric tools used to measure cognitive abilities in patients with epilepsy may need to be supplemented with a vehicle that evaluates social cognition.

Bujarski KA, Flashman L, Li Z, et al. Investigating social cognition in epilepsy using a naturalistic task. Epilepsia. 2016;57(9):1515-1520.

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