Moral Cognition and Multiple Sclerosis: A Neuropsychological Study

Giuseppe Salemi, Paolo Ragonese, Nicola Canessa, Chiara Cerami, Alessandra Dodich

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6 Citazioni (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES:Recent literature proved that social cognition impairments may characterize the neuropsychological profile of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. However, little is still known about moral cognition in MS. In this study, we evaluated non-social, social, and moral cognitive performances in 45 relapsing-remitting MS patients.METHODS:Patients underwent the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis battery, the Cognitive Estimation and Stroop tasks, the Ekman-60 Faces test, the Reading the Mind in the Eye and Story-based Empathy task. Additionally, a task of moral dilemmas including both "instrumental" and "incidental" conditions was administered to patients. Forty-five age-, gender- and education-matched healthy control subjects (HC) were enrolled for comparisons.RESULTS:The majority of patients (i.e., 77.6%) showed deficits at non-social tasks, particularly in the executive domains. A subset of MS sample (i.e., 24%) presented with emotion recognition and socio-affective processing impairments. Overall, MS patients showed comparable levels of moral judgment with respect to HC. The rate of yes/no response in resolution of moral dilemmas and scores of attribution of emotional valence were comparable between groups. Nevertheless, lower moral permissibility and emotional arousal, particularly for the instrumental dilemmas, characterized the MS profile. Significant correlations between the attribution of emotional valence to moral actions and mentalizing scores emerged.CONCLUSIONS:Our findings expand current literature on MS supporting not only deficits in executive and socio-emotional domains but also low levels of permissibility of immoral actions and emotional detachment in the moral judgment process.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)319-326
Numero di pagine8
RivistaArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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