Inhibit yourself and understand the other: Neural basis of distinct processes underlying Theory of Mind

Lisette van der Meer*, Nynke A. Groenewold, Willem A. Nolen, Marieke Pijnenborg, Andre Aleman

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

97 Citaten (Scopus)


Taking the perspective of somebody else (Theory of Mind; ToM) is an essential human ability depending on a large cerebral network comprising prefrontal and temporo-parietal regions. Recently, ToM was suggested to consist of two processes: (1) self-perspective inhibition and (2) belief reasoning. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that self-perspective inhibition may build upon basic motor response inhibition. This study tested both hypotheses for the first time using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), through administering both a ToM and a stop-signal paradigm in the same subjects. Both self-perspective and motor response inhibition yielded bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) activation, suggesting a common inhibitory mechanism, while belief reasoning was mediated by the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and temporo-parietal junction (TPJ). Thus, we provide neurobiological evidence for a subdivision of ToM into self-perspective inhibition and belief reasoning. Furthermore, evidence for partially shared neural mechanisms for inhibition in complex social situations and basic motor response inhibition was found. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)2364-2374
Aantal pagina's11
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - 15-jun.-2011

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