Profiles and trajectories of impaired social cognition in people with Prader-Willi syndrome

Autoři: Elisabeth M. Dykens aff001;  Elizabeth Roof aff001;  Hailee Hunt-Hawkins aff001;  Christopher Daniell aff001;  Sarah Jurgensmeyer aff003
Působiště autorů: Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States of America aff001;  Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States of America aff002;  Vanderbilt Kennedy Center University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States of America aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article



People with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) have a distinctive behavioral phenotype that includes intellectual disability, compulsivity, inattention, inflexibility and insistence on sameness. Inflexibility and inattention are at odds with the cognitive flexibility and attention to social cues needed to accurately perceive the social world, and implicate problems in social cognition. This study assessed two social cognition domains in people with PWS; emotion recognition and social perception. We identified changes in social cognition over an approximate two-year time period (M = 2.23 years), relative strengths and weakness in social cognition, and correlates and predictors of social cognition.


Emotion recognition and social perception were examined at two time points in 94 individuals with PWS aged 5 to 62 years (M = 13.81, SD = 10.69). Tasks administered included: standardized IQ testing; parent-completed measures of inattention and inflexibility; standard emotion recognition photos (fear, sadness, anger, happy); and videotaped social perception vignettes depicting negative events with either sincere/benign or insincere/hostile interactions between peers.


An atypical trajectory of negative emotion recognition emerged, marked by similar levels of poor performances across age, and confusion between sad and anger that is typically resolved in early childhood. Recognition of sad and fear were positively correlated with IQ. Participants made gains over time detecting social cues, but not in forming correct conclusions about the intentions of others. Accurately judging sincere intentions remained a significant weakness over time. Relative to sincere intentions, participant’s performed significantly better in detecting negative social cues, and correctly judging trickery, deceit and lying. Age, IQ, inattention, and recognition of happy and sad accounted for 29% of variance in social perception.


Many people with PWS have deficits in recognizing sad, anger and fear, and accurately perceiving the sincere intentions of other people. The impact of these deficits on social behavior and relationships need to be better understood.

Klíčová slova:

Age groups – Attention – Disabilities – Emotions – Face recognition – Fear – Children – Social cognition


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