Patient DT was examined 26 years after she acquired focal frontal lobe damage at 7 years of age. This report focused on several aspects of psychological outcome, including the empirical study of social development into early adulthood. Standardized measures of empathy, psychosocial development, and personality were analyzed, along with a moral judgment interview and patterns of adult social behavior. Results indicated that DT has a very limited capacity for empathic understanding, inadequate identity development, difficulties in vocational adjustment, and a concrete level of moral reasoning. Her social behavior and profile of test scores suggest that social development and adaptation have been arrested at early adolescent levels. We conclude that early frontal lobe damage has profound effects on social development, and that the frontal lobes provide a crucial neural substrate for social maturation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Cognitive Neuroscience