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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Unaffected first-degree relatives of individuals with schizophrenia (i.e., those at familial high-risk [FHR]), demonstrate social dysfunction qualitatively similar though less severe than that of their affected relatives. These social difficulties may be the consequence of genetically conferred disruption to aspects of the default mode network (DMN), such(More)
Research in psychology has suggested that reading fiction can improve individuals' social-cognitive abilities. Findings from neuroscience show that reading and social cognition both recruit the default network, a network which is known to support our capacity to simulate hypothetical scenes, spaces and mental states. The current research tests the(More)
Healthy social relationships are linked to myriad positive physical and mental health outcomes, raising the question of how to enhance relationship formation and quality. Behavioral data suggest that theory of mind (ToM) may be one such process. ToM is supported by a network of brain regions including the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), medial prefrontal(More)