C. Neil Macrae

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Researchers have long debated whether knowledge about the self is unique in terms of its functional anatomic representation within the human brain. In the context of memory function, knowledge about the self is typically remembered better than other types of semantic information. But why does this memorial effect emerge? Extending previous research on this(More)
Despite evidence pointing to a ubiquitous tendency of human minds to wander, little is known about the neural operations that support this core component of human cognition. Using both thought sampling and brain imaging, the current investigation demonstrated that mind-wandering is associated with activity in a default network of cortical regions that are(More)
Human social interaction requires the recognition that other people are governed by the same types of mental states-beliefs, desires, intentions-that guide one's own behavior. We used functional neuroimaging to examine how perceivers make mental state inferences when such self-other overlap can be assumed (when the other is similar to oneself) and when it(More)
The ability to remember the past depends on cognitive operations that are recruited when information is initially encountered. In the current experiment, we investigated neural processes that subserve the memorability of a fundamental class of social information: self-knowledge. Participants evaluated the extent to which a series of personality(More)
A key question in psychology and neuroscience is the extent to which the neural representation of others is incorporated with, or is distinct from, our concept of self. Recent neuroimaging research has emphasized the importance of a region in the medial prefrontal cortex [MPFC; Brodmann's area (BA) 10] when performing self-referent tasks. Specifically,(More)
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(More)
In attempting to make sense of other people, perceivers regularly construct and use categorical representations to simplify and streamline the person perception process. Noting the importance of categorical thinking in everyday life, our emphasis in this chapter is on the cognitive dynamics of categorical social perception. In reviewing current research on(More)
Studies using functional neuroimaging and patient populations have demonstrated that distinct brain regions subserve semantic knowledge for different classes of inanimate objects (e.g., tools, musical instruments, and houses). What this work has yet to consider, however, is how conceptual knowledge about people may be organized in the brain. In particular,(More)
Recognition performance is impaired when people are required to provide a verbal description of a complex stimulus (i.e., verbal-overshadowing effect), such as the face of the perpetrator in a simulated robbery. A shift in the processing operations that support successful face recognition is believed to underlie this effect. Specifically, when participants(More)
Recent research has demonstrated that the act of remembering can prompt temporary forgetting or, more specifically, the inhibition of particular items in memory. Extending work of this kind, the present research investigated some possible boundary conditions of retrieval-induced forgetting. As expected, a critical determinant of temporary forgetting was the(More)