Studying the social mind: An updated summary of findings from the Vietnam Head Injury Study

Irene Cristofori, Shira Cohen-Zimerman, Frank Krueger, Roxana Jabbarinejad, Ekaterina Delikishkina, Barry Gordon, Pierre Aurélien Beuriat, Jordan Grafman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Lesion mapping studies allow us to evaluate the potential causal contribution of specific brain areas to human cognition and complement other cognitive neuroscience methods, as several authors have recently pointed out. Here, we present an updated summary of the findings from the Vietnam Head Injury Study (VHIS) focusing on the studies conducted over the last decade, that examined the social mind and its intricate neural and cognitive underpinnings. The VHIS is a prospective, long-term follow-up study of Vietnam veterans with penetrating traumatic brain injury (pTBI) and healthy controls (HC). The scope of the work is to present the studies from the latest phases (3 and 4) of the VHIS, 70 studies since 2011, when the Raymont et al. paper was published (Raymont et al., 2011). These studies have contributed to our understanding of human social cognition, including political and religious beliefs, theory of mind, but also executive functions, intelligence, and personality. This work finally discusses the usefulness of lesion mapping as an approach to understanding the functions of the human brain from basic science and clinical perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-188
Number of pages25
StatePublished - May 2024


  • Brain imaging
  • Emotion regulation
  • Executive functions
  • Intelligence
  • Neuropsychology
  • Penetrating traumatic brain injury
  • Personality
  • Social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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