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Neuropsychologia 45 (2007) 25612569 Error analyses reveal contrasting deficits in "theory of mind"

Summary: Neuropsychologia 45 (2007) 25612569
Error analyses reveal contrasting deficits in "theory of mind":
Neuropsychological evidence from a 3-option false belief task
Dana Samson, Ian A. Apperly, Glyn W. Humphreys
University of Birmingham, UK
Received 15 August 2006; received in revised form 12 March 2007; accepted 16 March 2007
Available online 23 March 2007
Perspective taking is a crucial ability that guides our social interactions. In this study, we show how the specific patterns of errors of brain-
damaged patients in perspective taking tasks can help us further understand the factors contributing to perspective taking abilities. Previous work
[e.g., Samson, D., Apperly, I. A., Chiavarino, C., & Humphreys, G. W. (2004). Left temporoparietal junction is necessary for representing someone
else's belief. Nature Neuroscience, 7, 499500; Samson, D., Apperly, I. A., Kathirgamanathan, U., & Humphreys, G. W. (2005). Seeing it my way:
A case of a selective deficit in inhibiting self-perspective. Brain, 128, 11021111] distinguished two components of perspective taking: the ability
to inhibit our own perspective and the ability to infer someone else's perspective. We assessed these components using a new nonverbal false belief
task which provided different response options to detect three types of response strategies that participants might be using: a complete and spared
belief reasoning strategy, a reality-based response selection strategy in which participants respond from their own perspective, and a simplified
mentalising strategy in which participants avoid responding from their own perspective but rely on inaccurate cues to infer the other person's belief.
One patient, with a self-perspective inhibition deficit, almost always used the reality-based response strategy; in contrast, the other patient, with
a deficit in taking other perspectives, tended to use the simplified mentalising strategy without necessarily transposing her own perspective. We
discuss the extent to which the pattern of performance of both patients could relate to their executive function deficit and how it can inform us on


Source: Apperly, Ian - School of Psychology, University of Birmingham


Collections: Biology and Medicine