School of Health and Human Sciences

Overview of the Theory of Mind Training Program

The tasks in this training protocol are ordered to move a patient along a conceptually and empirically defined performance continuum from easier to more difficult. Also, some tasks build directly on other tasks, as detailed below. The program begins with a “Warm-Up Phase”, which is then followed by Phase I and II. On the basis of testing completed to date, we anticipate that Phase I and II will consistently be easier and should be presented first in order to engage patients. Phase III and IV require more effort and call on a number of skills (i.e. second-order beliefs) that are often at risk in brain-damaged patients. Phase III and IV are roughly comparable to each other in difficulty except that Phase IV requires a patient to recognize elements of motivation and deception in one of the characters. For this reason, Phase III precedes Phase IV. While the ordering of difficulty of Phase III and IV varied among the pilot patients who have already completed the protocol, these two tasks were the most difficult of the program.

Detailed Description of the Theory of Mind Training Program

Step-by-step Description of the Training and Scoring Procedures, Rationale, Criteria for Advancement.

Criterion For Initiating Training: Stable baseline performance (+/- 10%) must be documented in cartoon interpretation, spatial orientation, and quality of life (as measured by the SAQOL-39) before training is started. Baseline assessment is repeated 10 times (twice per week during the five week training period).

ToM Training: The training program is designed to provide multiple opportunities for a patient to practice, correct, and learn skills necessary to progress from one phase of the training program to another. Training begins with the Warm Up Phase and is followed by four distinct training phases (Phases I-IV).