Early signatures of and developmental change in brain regions for theory of mind

Hilary Richardson, Rebecca Saxe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Theory of Mind (ToM)—the intuitive theory by which people understand others’ actions in terms of their beliefs, desires, and emotions—undergoes dramatic change in childhood. Among adults, utilizing this intuitive theory recruits a specific network of brain regions, including the temporoparietal junction. In this chapter, we summarize recent neuroimaging evidence about the developmental origins of these functional brain regions, and the developmental changes in these regions that support ongoing ToM development in childhood. We additionally highlight several future avenues for developmental cognitive neuroscientists, which would provide insight into how the brain supports different aspects of ToM development, and how experience shapes ToM development, neurally and behaviorally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeural Circuit and Cognitive Development
Subtitle of host publicationComprehensive Developmental Neuroscience
EditorsJohn Rubenstein, Pasko Rakic
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780128144121
ISBN (Print)9780128144114
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • development
  • fMRI
  • fNIRS
  • temporoparietal junction
  • theory of mind


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