Title: Social Cognition in Older Adults: A Review of Neuropsychology, Neurobiology, and Functional Connectivity.
Background: Social cognition is an understudied area in cognitive aging. A Medline search using the term “social cognition” and limited to “Aged:65+ years” resulted in only 20 English language references.
Methods and Findings: From these references, and review of additional citations from their reference lists, it appears that older adult’s ability to correctly identify another person’s state of mind is reduced, but their ability to perceive emotion remains more intact. These deficits may correlate with established areas of agerelated cortical and white matter volume loss in the prefrontal cortex and temporal insula, respectively. Additionally, changes in cerebral functional connectivity with age may contribute to these observations.
Conclusions: This review briefly outlines the neuropsychological, neuroanatomical and functional connectivity literature regarding social cognition in normal cognitive aging. Additionally, we discuss the potential functional implications of age-related changes in social cognition.
Marissa C Natelson Love, Gabrielle Ruff and David S Geldmacher