Social Cognition Training and Cognitive Remediation

Hôpital le Vinatier
15 Apr, 2019 ,

Hôpital le Vinatier is conducting an Interventional Study in 10 participants to focus on specific emotion recognition components, pen and paper or role playing tasks focusing on the same processes, a proposal of a home-based task in mental operations that enable people to perceive, interpret constantly changing social informations.

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Social cognition refers to mental operations that enable people to perceive, interpret constantly changing social informations. These processes allow people to rapidly, effortlessly and flexibly perceive and interpret rapidly-changing social information, and respond appropriately to social stimuli. Besides, this ability gives meaning to the actions of others. Impairments in this field may largely underlie social dysfunctions and reduce adaptive skills. Moreover, social cognitive disabilities contribute more or less directly to behavioral disturbances and psychiatric symptoms The "RC KID" program involves a variety of exercises in a paper and/or pencil or a computerized format or role playing and a strategy coaching approach. "RC KID" targets the emotion recognition and social interaction.

A little cartoon character (a pirate), is supposed to be very friendly and kind toward children. The pirate will accompany them throughout the program for an effective and positive reinforcement. The main goal of "RC KID" is to adjust to children's difficulties in daily life.

Moreover, since the cognitive remediation benefit is complex to apply in daily life, the program is based on a metacognitive strategy.

After a complete neuropsychological assessment and a psychoeducational session (with the child and the parents), 16 1-h-sessions of cognitive remediation with the therapist are proposed. Each session is composed of three parts: (1) computerized tasks focusing on specific emotion recognition components (20 min). RC KID is composed of 2 modules : Emotion recognition and social interaction. These tasks contain photo or video. (2) pen and paper or role playing tasks focusing on the same processes (20 min) (3) a proposal of a home-based task (during 20 min). Weekly, home tasks are proposed to the child and analyzed with the parents and the therapist. Indeed, home exercises are useful to promote the transfer of strategies to daily life and their subsequent automation. The heterogeneity of cognitive deficits in 22q11.2 deletion necessitates an individualized cognitive remediation therapy. In this regard, "RC KID" seems to be a promising tool.

The second objective is to evaluate the impact of RC KID on behavior disorders. Method : a validation study using multiple single-case experimental designs. A thorough assessment, including a complete evaluation of components of social cognition but also clinical and neuropsychological assessments is proposed for each patient enrolled in the study.

Investigators collect three kinds of baselines before the beginning of the cognitive remediation intervention: baselines specific of the targeted component (Emotion recognition and Theory of Mind), non-specific baselines (such as measures of neurocognition processes that should not be affected by the intervention), and intermediary baselines that is measures of social cognitive function linked with targeted processes but not directly concerned by the cognitive remediation program.

These measures and the complete assessment will be repeated at the end of the intervention to highlight impacts of RC KID on social cognitive impairments, and 6 months later to investigate the possible long-lasting effects of the benefits.