Differences in social cognition between male prisoners with antisocial personality or psychotic disorder

Matias Salvador Bertone, Edith Aristizabal Díaz Granados, Miguel Vallejos, Jessica Muniello


The objective of this work is to discriminate between different neurocognitive circuits involved in empathy, one of
them linked to emotional processing and the other associated with cognitive function. This is evaluated through
the use of neuropsychological tools (Hinting Task, Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and Cambridge Mind
Reading Test) empathic cognition and empathic emotion. In this study, 57 male prisoners were divided into
three groups: psychotic patients (20), antisocial patients (17), and a control group (20). Patients with psychosis
were found to have significantly lower scores than the antisocial and control groups in a social reasoning test,
but using tests of emotional recognition, we found that both psychotic patients and antisocial subjects scored
significantly lower than the control group.


Social cognition; psychosis; antisocial disorder; facial emotion recognition; theory of mind.

Full Text:



Achima, A. M., Ouelleta, R., Rova, M. A., & Jacksona, P. L.

(2011). Assessment of empathy in first-episode psychosis

and meta-analytic comparison with previous

studies in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research, 190,


Adolphs, R. (1999). Social cognition and the human brain.

Trends Cognitive Science, 3, 469-479.

Alc´azar-C´orcoles, M. A., Verdejo-Garc´ıa, A., & Bouso-Saiz,

J. C. (2008). La neuropsicolog´ıa forense ante el reto de

la relaci´on entre cognici´on y emoci´on en la psicopat´ıa.

Rev neurol, 47, 607-612.

Bagcioglu, E., Isikli, H., Demirel, H., Sahin, E., Kandemir,

E., Dursun, P., . . . Emul, M. (2014). Facial emotion

recognition in male antisocial personality disorders with

or without adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Compr Psychiatry, 55, 1152-1156.

Baron-Cohen, S., Jolliffe, T., Mortimore, C., & Robertson,

M. (1997). Another advanced test of theory of mind:

Evidence from very high functioning adults with asperger.

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry,

, 813-822.

Beer, J., & Ochsner, K. (2006). Social cognition: A multi

level analysis. Brain Research 2006, 79(98), 105.

Beer, J. S., Shimamura, A. P., & Knight, R. T. (2004). Frontal

lobe contributions to executive control of cognitive and

social behavior. The Newest Cognitive Neurosciences,

, 1091-1104.

Belmonte, M. K., Gomot, M., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2010).

Visual attention in autism families: ‘unaffected’ sibs

share atypical frontal activation. The Journal of Child

Psychology and Psychiatry, 51, 259-276.

Bora, E., & Pantelis, C. (2013). Theory of mind impairments

in first-episode psychosis, individuals at ultra-high risk

for psychosis and in first-degree relatives of schizophrenia:

systematic review and meta-analysis. Schizophr

Res, 144, 31-36.

Brothers, L. (1990). The social brain: A project for integrating

primate behavior and neurophysiology in a new domain.

Concepts in Neuroscience, Vol. 1 (1990a), pp. 27-51

Key: citeulike:2826191, 1, 27-51.

Butman, J. (2001). La cognici´on social y la corteza cerebral.

Revista Neurol´ogica Argentina, 26, 117-122.

Cohen, S. B., Wheelwright, S., Hill, J., Raste, Y., & Plumb, I.

(2001). The reading the mind in the eyes. test revised

version: a study with normal adults, and adults with

asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. The

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 241-

Couture, S., Penn, D., & Roberts, D. L. (2006). The functional

significance of social cognition in schizophrenia: A

review. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 32, 44-63.

Craig, M., Catani, M., Deeley, Q., Latham, R., Daly, E.,

Kanaan, R., . . . Murphy, D. M. (2009). Altered connections

on the road to psychopathy. Molecular Psychiatry,

, 946-953.

Damasio, A. (1994). El error de descartes: la raz´on de las

emociones. Santiago de Chile: Andres Bello.

Decety, J., & Moriguchi, Y. (2007). The empathic brain and its

dysfunction in psychiatric populations: Implications for

intervention across different clinical conditions. BioPsychoSocial

Medicine, 1, 22-33.

Dolan, M., & Fullam, R. (2004). Theory of mind and mentalizing

ability in antisocial personality disorders with

and without psychopathy. Psychol Med, 34, 93-102.

Emery, N., & Amaral, D. (2000). In cognitive neurosciencie

of emotion. In L. R. y Nadel L. (Ed.), The role of the

amygdala in primate social cognition (chap. The Role

of the Amygdala in Primate Social Cognition). Oxford:

Oxford University Press.

Garc´ıa, H. O., Ust´arroz, J. T., & L´opez-Go˜ni, J. J. (2012).

Valoraci´on de la cognici´on social en esquizofrenia a

trav´es del test de la mirada. implicaciones para la rehabilitaci

´on. Avances en Psicolog´ıa Latinoamericana,


Gil, D., Fern´andez-Modamio, M., Benhochea, R., & Arrieta,

M. (2012). Adaptaci´on al espa˜nol de la prueba de

teor´ıa de la mente “hinting task”. Revista de psiquiatr´ıa

y salud mental, 5(2), 79-88.

Golan, O., Baron-Cohen, S., & Hill, J. J. (2006). The cambridge

mindreading face-voice battery: Testing complex

emotion recognition in adults with and without

asperger syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental

Disorders, 36(2), 169-183.

Iacoboni, M. (2009). Imitation, empathy, and mirror neurons.

Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 653-670.

Iacoboni, M., & Dapretto, M. (2006). The mirror neuron

system and the consequences of its dysfunction. Nature

Reviews Neuroscience, 7, 942-951.

Janssen, I., Krabbendam, L., Jolles, J., & Os, J. V. (2003). Alterations

in theory of mind in patients with schizophrenia

and non-psychotic relatives. Acta Psychiatr Scand108(2), 110-117.

Kleist, K. (1997). D´ıez comunicaciones. introducci´on a las

localizaciones cerebrales en neuropsiquiatr´ıa. Buenos

Aires: Polemos.

Krolak-Salmon, P. (2003). An attention modulated response

to disgust in human ventral anterior insula. Annals of

Neurology, 53(4), 446-453.

Lawrence, E. J., P.Shaw, Baker, D., Baron-Cohen, S., & David,

A. S. (2004). Measuring empathy: reliability and validity

of the empathy quotient. Psychological Medicine,

(5), 911-920.

Leslie, A. M. (1987). Pretense and representation: The origins

of “theory of mind”. Psychological Review, 94(4), 412-

Lou, H. C., Luber, B., Crupain, M., P.Keenan, J., Nowak, M.,

Kjaer, T. W., . . . H.Lisanby, S. (2004). Parietal cortex

and representation of the mental self. PNAS, 101(17),


Lykken, D., & Ferrer, I. (2000). Las personalidades antisociales.


Marshall, L. E., & Marshall, W. L. (2011). Empathy and antisocial

behaviour. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry &

Psychology, 22(5), 742-759.

Molina, F. (2013). Neurobiolog´ıa de la psicopat´ıa. Buenos

Aires, Argentina: Salerno.

Newbury-Helps, J., Feigenbaum, J., & Fonagy, P. (2017).

Offenders with antisocial personality disorder display

more impairments in mentalizing. Journal of Personality

Disorders, 31(2), 232-255.

nez, A. I., & Manes, F. (2012). Contextual social cognition

and the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia.

Neurology, 78, 1354-1362.

Pardini, D. A., Raine, A., Erickson, K., & Loeber, R. (2014).

Lower amygdala volume in men is associated with

childhood aggression, early psychopathic traits, and

future violence. Biological Psychiatry, 75(1), 73-80.

Patrick, C. J. (2000). Emociones y psicopat´ıa. Violencia y

psicopat´ıa, 89-118.

Penn, D. L., Ritchie, M., Francis, J., Combs, D., & Martin, J.

(2002). Social perception in schizophrenia: the role of

context. Psychiatry Research, 109(2), 149-159.

Piemontesi, S. E. (2010). Procesos en neurociencia social

cognitiva y afectiva para la comprensi´on e interacci´on

social: un marco integrador. Revista Argentina de Ciencias

del Comportamiento (RACC), 2(3), 30-44.

Premack, D., & Woodruff, G. (1978). Does the chimpanzee

have a theory of mind? The Behavioral and Brain

Sciences, 4, 515-526.

Raine, A., Lencz, T., Bihrle, S., LaCasse, L., & Colletti, P.

(2000). Reduced prefrontal gray matter volume and

reduced autonomic activity in antisocial personality

disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 57(2), 119-127.

Rom´an, F., Rojas, G., Rom´an, N., Iturry, M., Blanco, R., Leis,

A., . . . Allegri, R. F. (2012). Baremos del test de la

mirada en espa˜nol en adultos normales de buenos aires.

Revista Neuropsicolog´ıa Latinoamericana, 4(3), 1-5.

Ruggieri, V. (2013). Empat´ıa, cognici´on social y trastornos

del espectro autista. Rev Neurol, S13-S21.

Ru´ız-Ru´ız, J. C., Garc´ıa-Ferrer, S., & Fuentes-Dur´a, I. (2006).

La relevancia de la cognici´on social en la esquizofrenia.

Apuntes de Psicolog´ıa, 24, 137-155.

Serrano, C., & Allegri, R. F. (2006). Adult eyes test – spanish

(Vol. 2011) (No. June).

Shamay-Tsoory, S. G. (2010). The neural bases for empathy.

The Neuroscientist, 17(1), 18-24.

Shamay-Tsoory, S. G., Aharon-Peretz, J., & Perry, D. (2009).

Two systems for empathy: a double dissociation between

emotional and cognitive empathy in inferior

frontal gyrus versus ventromedial prefrontal lesions.

Brain, 132(3), 617-627.

Small, D. M., Gregory, M. D., Mak, Y. E., Gitelman, D.,

& Marsel, M. (2003). Dissociation of neural representation

of intensity and affective valuation in human

gustation. Neuron, 39(4), 701-711.

Sucksmith, E., Allison, C., Baron-Cohen, S., Chakrabarti,

B., & Hoekstra, R. A. (2013). Empathy and emotion

recognition in people with autism, first-degree relatives,

and controls. Neuropsychologia, 51(1), 98-105.

Uddin, L. Q., Iacoboni, M., Lange, C., & Keenan, J. P. (2007).

The self and social cognition: the role of cortical midline

structures and mirror neurons. Trends in Cognitive

Sciences, 11(4), 153-157.

Yang, Y., & Raine, A. (2009). Prefrontal structural and functional

brain imaging findings in antisocial, violent, and

psychopathic individuals: A meta-analysis. Psychiatry

Research: Neuroimaging, 174(2), 81-88.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21500/20112084.2903

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.