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To examine the potential for treating deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM), i.e., using a
person’s beliefs to understand and predict behaviour, and to test the hypothesis that improvements in ToM can be
distinguished from performance in other domains such as judging line orientation and executive function.
Materials and Methodology:
In Study 1, two individuals with TBI participated in a protocol targeting ToM, which was
assessed using a cartoon interpretation task. Participants also performed on a short form of the Benton Judgment of Line
Orientation Task as a control. In Study 2, a third person with TBI participated in Attention Process Training (APT-1)
followed by the ToM protocol. Executive function was assessed using the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT).
In Study 1, ToM performance but not judgments of line orientation responded to the ToM training. In Study 2,
executive function, but not ToM, showed strong improvement with APT-1. In contrast, ToM but not executive function
showed significant improvement with ToM training.
ToM is a good candidate for intervention. For three persons with TBI, ToM performance showed selective
improvement associated with ToM treatment, which suggests a practical as well as theoretical value for distinguishing
ToM from executive function.