David Dodell-Feder

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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis have cognitive deficits that are associated with functional impairment and psychosis conversion (Giuliano et al., 2012). Targeted cognitive training (TCT) (i.e., intense, progressively difficult practice of a cognitive skill) improves cognition and daily functioning in schizophrenia (Wykes et al., 2011).(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)
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)