Katrin Döhnel

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Belief reasoning plays a central role in making inferences about other people's mental states. The ability to reason about false beliefs is considered as a critical test for having a Theory of Mind (ToM). There is some controversy as to whether it is the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) or the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) that is centrally involved in(More)
"Psychopathy" according to the PCL-R describes a specific subgroup of antisocial personality disorder with a high risk for criminal relapses. Lesion and imaging studies point towards frontal or temporal brain regions connected with disturbed social behavior, antisocial personality disorder (APD) and psychopathy. Morphologically, some studies described a(More)
Emotional stimuli can have beneficial effects on memory in healthy aged subjects and partly on patients with dementia. So far, no experimental study has explored the effects of memory for emotional stimuli in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a concept that describes a transitional state between normal aging and dementia. The present fMRI study(More)
The understanding that another person's belief can differ from reality and that behaviour is guided by beliefs and not by reality reflects an important cornerstone in the development of a Theory of Mind. The present event-related potential (ERP) study had two aims: first, to reveal ERPs that distinguish between false- and true-belief reasoning and second,(More)
Ample behavioral evidence has shown that the ability to attribute false beliefs as part of a Theory of Mind (ToM) and the ability to inhibit a prepotent response are strongly correlated in both children and adults. Frequently reported areas associated with both processes are the right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC).(More)
Since false belief reasoning requires mental state representation independently of the state of reality, it is seen as a key ability in Theory of Mind (ToM). Although true beliefs do not have to be processed independently of the state of reality, growing behavioural evidence indicates that true belief reasoning is different from just reasoning about the(More)
The present fMRI study is the first that investigates everyday moral conflict situations in which a moral standard clashes with a personal desire. In such situations people have to decide between a morally guided and a hedonistic behaviour. Twelve healthy subjects were presented with verbal stories describing conflicts with either moral or neutral content.(More)
The ability to represent false beliefs is commonly considered as to be the critical test for having a Theory of Mind (ToM). For correct predictions or explanations of other peoples' behavior it is necessary to understand that mental states are sometimes independent of reality and misrepresent the real state of the world. In contrast, when people hold true(More)
Impaired emotional responsiveness has been revealed as a hallmark of psychopathy. In spite of an increasing database on emotion processing, studies on cognitive function and in particular on the impact of emotion on cognition in psychopathy are rare. We used pictures from the International Affective Picture Set (IAPS) and a Simon Paradigm to address(More)
Pretend play, emerging at about 18 months, and explicit false belief (FB) understanding, arising around 4 years, constitute two pivotal milestones in the development of a Theory of Mind since both involve the ability to separate real from non-real content. The developmental lag has evoked vivid discussion with respect to whether or not pretense (PT)(More)