Understanding the minds of others: A neuroimaging meta-analysis

Johnson, Halle (2014). Understanding the minds of others: A neuroimaging meta-analysis Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.03.020

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Author Johnson, Halle
Thesis Title Understanding the minds of others: A neuroimaging meta-analysis
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
DOI 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.03.020
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Pascal Molenberghs
Total pages 141
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Numerous fMRI studies have investigated the neural basis of theory of mind (ToM), however, results have been heterogeneous. Previous research has proposed that this inconsistency could be a reflection of varying methodological and conceptual approaches to studying ToM. The current study implemented Activation Likelihood Estimation meta-analysis to quantitatively identify brain areas reliably involved in ToM processing utilising brain activation co-ordinates reported across 144 fMRI studies assessing ToM. The tasks used to assess ToM in each of these papers were systematically categorised based on: (a) stimulus type; (b) visual or verbal modality; (c) implicit or explicit instructions and; (d) the affective or cognitive nature of the inference. Results revealed consistent activation in the medial prefrontal cortex and bilateral temporoparietal junctions across sub-components of ToM. In addition, a range of differences in brain activation were identified across ToM tasks and sub-components. Further analyses, comparing the functional contribution and co-activation patterns of these areas of difference, revealed anatomically and functionally distinct neural networks, across ToM sub-components. These results provide an explanation for the variation found in previous research, and suggests that individuals may implement different underlying cognitive processes to infer the mental states of others based upon task demands.
Keyword Mind
Meta analysis

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Created: Thu, 11 Jun 2015, 11:52:33 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology