The Link between Social Cognition and Self-referential Thought in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

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The Link between Social Cognition and Self-referential Thought in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

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Title: The Link between Social Cognition and Self-referential Thought in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex
Author: Banaji, Mahzarin; Mitchell, Jason; Macrae, Neil

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Mitchell, Jason P., Mahzarin R. Banaji, and C. Neil Macrae. 2005. The link between social cognition and self-referential thought in the medial prefrontal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 17(8): 1306-1315.
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Abstract: The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been implicated in seemingly disparate cognitive functions, such as understanding
the minds of other people and processing information about the self. This functional overlap would be expected if humans use their own experiences to infer the
mental states of others, a basic postulate of simulation theory. Neural activity was measured while participants attended to
either the mental or physical aspects of a series of other people. To permit a test of simulation theory’s prediction that
inferences based on self-reflection should only be made for similar others, targets were subsequently rated for their
degree of similarity to self. Parametric analyses revealed a region of the ventral mPFC—previously implicated in self-referencing tasks—in which activity correlated with perceived self/other similarity, but only for mentalizing trials. These results suggest that self-reflection may be used to infer the mental states of others when they are sufficiently similar to
self.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/0898929055002418
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:2560812

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