Social cognition and pragmatic skills - developmental and neurocognitive perspective
The focus of the lecture is twofold: we investigate the role of theory of mind in pragmatic language development, targeting different aspects of non-compositionality and indirectness (simile, metaphor, irony, humor and maxim infringement), tracking the order and cognitive difficulty of their unfolding. The study also investigates the pragmatics of irony processing and contextual effects in schizophrenia. Relying on neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques the research reveals the brain networks involved in social cognition and in non-compositional processing, and confirms theory of mind deficit, along with difficulties in irony comprehension in schizophrenia. We also attempt to identify the area of the Precuneus having an integrative role as the neural correlate of the hypothesized meta-module of pragmatic meaning construction.