The article discussed here is by Michael Green and David Leitman and is titled ‘Social Cognition in Schizophrenia’. This is a short article but gives a valuable overview of some of the research that is going on in this field.
The authors start by discussing the term ‘social cognition’ which appears to have arrived on the scene quite quickly but has lacked a tight definition. They draw attention to a very interesting model by Kevin Oschner who after having reviewed the literature, breaks it down into a five step process. This will certainly make it easier to test. The model is outlined below.
Essentially the model says that we first learn about socially and emotionally important information in the world and also how to respond to this information. Once we’ve done this, we then develop our ability to recognise this information (and respond to it). The authors give the example of work being done in face processing. The next level of low level simulation probably relates to the area of motor cognition (as perhaps does higher level simulation), the idea that the way we regulate movement is related to areas of cognition including empathy. This was developed in a book by Jeannerod on Motor Cognition. Higher level simulation includes areas relating to theory of mind. The final level is contextual analysis and this is thought to relate to attribution theory in which people attribute their behaviour to others or themselves.
The authors then go on to describe research that is going on in the different areas. Although the article is brief it is a useful signpost for the exciting research that is going on in this area as well as the development of the concept itself.
STT = 5
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