Neuropsychological Bases of Understanding others' Minds,

At the lab, we are about the start a new project focused on how people do inference about others'. This process is called Mutual Modeling (I already talked about it in this blog a lot of time anyway).. The project aims at understanding how this work and how we can create 'tools' and methods to grasp those mutual models. This will also be related to a technological component since one of the research question is to investigate the link between awareness technologies (like location-awareness in CatchBob!) and how people infer others' intents, beliefs or appraisal of the situation. Our project is rather about cognitive psychology than about neuropsychology. However, as it's always interesting and intriguing to know how psychological processes relates to brain systems, here is a paper about the link between Mutual Modeling and Cognitive System: UNDERSTANDING OTHER MINDS: Linking Developmental Psychology and Functional Neuroimaging by R. Saxe, ­S. Carey, and ­N. Kanwisher. Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 55: 87-124 (Volume publication date Feb 2004)

Evidence from developmental psychology suggests that understanding other minds constitutes a special domain of cognition with at least two components: an early-developing system for reasoning about goals, perceptions, and emotions, and a later-developing system for representing the contents of beliefs. Neuroimaging reinforces and elaborates upon this view by providing evidence that (a) domain-specific brain regions exist for representing belief contents, (b) these regions are apparently distinct from other regions engaged in reasoning about goals and actions (suggesting that the two developmental stages reflect the emergence of two distinct systems, rather than the elaboration of a single system), and (c) these regions are distinct from brain regions engaged in inhibitory control and in syntactic processing. The clear neural distinction between these processes is evidence that belief attribution is not dependent on either inhibitory control or syntax, but is subserved by a specialized neural system for theory of mind.

Sometimes, hardcore cognitive science is good :)