A dissociation between social mentalizing and general reasoning

A dissociation between social mentalizing and general reasoning,10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.09.043,Neuroimage,Frank Van Overwalle

A dissociation between social mentalizing and general reasoning   (Citations: 9)
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It has recently been suggested that brain areas crucial for mentalizing, including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), are not activated exclusively during mentalizing about the intentions, beliefs, morals or traits of the self or others, but also more generally during cognitive reasoning including relational processing about objects. Contrary to this notion, a meta-analysis of cognitive reasoning tasks demonstrates that the core mentalizing areas are not systematically recruited during reasoning, but mostly when these tasks describe some human agency or general evaluative and enduring traits about humans, and much less so when these social evaluations are absent. There is a gradient showing less mPFC activation as less mentalizing content is contained in the stimulus material used in reasoning tasks. Hence, it is more likely that cognitive reasoning activates the mPFC because inferences about social agency and mind are involved.
Journal: Neuroimage , vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 1589-1599, 2011
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