Social cognition in adolescence: Social rejection and theory of mind

Translated title of the contribution: La cognición social en la adolescencia: el rechazo social y la teoría de la mente

Catherine L. Sebastian

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Neuroimaging studies have shown continued structural and functional development in neural circuitry underlying social and emotional behaviour during adolescence. This chapter will explore adolescent neurocognitive development in two domains: sensitivity to social rejection, and Theory of Mind. Adolescents often report hypersensitivity to social rejection in everyday life. The studies presented here will explore the possibility that this effect may be accompanied by reduced responses in brain regions involved in emotion regulation. Studies of responses to social rejection in adolescents with autism spectrum conditions will also be discussed. Theory of Mind (ToM) is another social cognitive domain which undergoes neurocognitive development between adolescence and adulthood. ToM refers to the ability to understand others’ thoughts and intentions. I will present neuroimaging data suggesting that the ability to integrate emotional information into ToM decisions (affective ToM) continues to develop between adolescence and adulthood. In sum, the studies presented demonstrate ongoing development of social and emotional cognition during adolescence at both behavioural and neural levels, and provide a neurocognitive framework for understanding adolescent behaviour.
Translated title of the contributionLa cognición social en la adolescencia: el rechazo social y la teoría de la mente
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)125–131
Number of pages7
JournalPsicología Educativa
Issue number2
Early online date1 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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