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Humans are thought to have evolved brain regions in the left frontal and temporal cortex that are uniquely capable of language processing. However, congenitally blind individuals also activate the visual cortex in some verbal tasks. We provide evidence that this visual cortex activity in fact reflects language processing. We find that in congenitally blind(More)
Cooperative social interaction is critical for human social development and learning. Despite the importance of social interaction, previous neuroimaging studies lack two fundamental components of everyday face-to-face interactions: contingent responding and joint attention. In the current studies, functional MRI data were collected while participants(More)
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated a critical role for a cortical region in the right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ) in "theory of mind" (ToM), or mental state reasoning. In other research, the RTPJ has been implicated in the deployment of attention to an unexpected stimulus. One hypothesis ("attention hypothesis") is(More)
Conventional analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data compare the brain's response to stimulus categories (e.g., pictures of faces, stories about beliefs) across participants. In order to infer that effects observed with the specific items (a particular set of pictures or stories) are generalizable to the entire population (all faces,(More)
Thinking about other people's thoughts recruits a specific group of brain regions, including the temporo-parietal junctions (TPJ), precuneus (PC), and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). The same brain regions were recruited when children (N=20, 5-11 years) and adults (N=8) listened to descriptions of characters' mental states, compared to descriptions of(More)
Theory-of-mind (ToM) ability is foundational for successful social relationships, and dependent on a neurocognitive system, which includes temporoparietal junction and medial prefrontal cortex. Schizophrenia is associated with ToM impairments, and initial studies demonstrate similar, though more subtle deficits, in unaffected first-degree relatives,(More)
Joint attention behaviors include initiating one's own and responding to another's bid for joint attention to an object, person, or topic. Joint attention abilities in autism are pervasively atypical, correlate with development of language and social abilities, and discriminate children with autism from other developmental disorders. Despite the importance(More)
Theory of mind (ToM), the ability to attribute and reason about the mental states of others, is a strong determinant of social functioning among individuals with schizophrenia. Identifying the neural bases of ToM and their relationship to social functioning may elucidate functionally relevant neurobiological targets for intervention. ToM ability may(More)
PURPOSE OF REVIEW Deficits in social cognition are an important determinant of social functioning in schizophrenia, a core feature of the illness that persists despite treatment. Recent research in neuroplasticity-based therapeutics shows that neural systems supporting core cognitive skills improve after targeted cognitive training, suggesting that social(More)
Social functioning depends on the ability to attribute and reason about the mental states of others--an ability known as theory of mind (ToM). Research in this field is limited by the use of tasks in which ceiling effects are ubiquitous, rendering them insensitive to individual differences in ToM ability and instances of subtle ToM impairment. Here, we(More)