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An evaluation of neurocognitive models of theory of mind.

Schurz M, Perner J - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: We review nine current neurocognitive theories of how theory of mind (ToM) is implemented in the brain and evaluate them based on the results from a recent meta-analysis by Schurz et al. (2014), where we identified six types of tasks that are the most frequently used in imaging research on ToM.From theories about cognitive processes being associated with certain brain areas, we deduce predictions about which areas should be engaged by the different types of ToM tasks.We then compare these predictions with the observed activations in the meta-analysis, and identify a number of unexplained findings in current theories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Salzburg Salzburg, Austria.

ABSTRACT
We review nine current neurocognitive theories of how theory of mind (ToM) is implemented in the brain and evaluate them based on the results from a recent meta-analysis by Schurz et al. (2014), where we identified six types of tasks that are the most frequently used in imaging research on ToM. From theories about cognitive processes being associated with certain brain areas, we deduce predictions about which areas should be engaged by the different types of ToM tasks. We then compare these predictions with the observed activations in the meta-analysis, and identify a number of unexplained findings in current theories. These can be used to revise and improve future neurocognitive accounts of ToM.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Summary of the results in Schurz et al. (2014). (A) Pooled meta-analysis on Theory of Mind (ToM) across all task-groups. Colors represent probability values from statistical permutation testing (z-values). (B) Conjunction of six meta-analyses, statistically powerful permutation-based overlap analysis (for details, see Schurz et al., 2014). Maps were thresholded at voxel-wise threshold of p < 0.005 uncorrected and a cluster extent threshold 10 voxels. (C) Regions of interest in posterior temporo-parietal and medial prefrontal areas. Box-plots (median; 25 and 75th percentiles; 5 and 95th percentiles) show the distributions of effect-sizes for the studies in each group. Effect-sizes were weighted by intra-study variances. Significant convergence of effect-sizes above zero was determined by randomization tests; full circles indicate p < 0.005 uncorrected, z > 1. Empty circles indicate p < 0.05, z > 1.
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Figure 1: Summary of the results in Schurz et al. (2014). (A) Pooled meta-analysis on Theory of Mind (ToM) across all task-groups. Colors represent probability values from statistical permutation testing (z-values). (B) Conjunction of six meta-analyses, statistically powerful permutation-based overlap analysis (for details, see Schurz et al., 2014). Maps were thresholded at voxel-wise threshold of p < 0.005 uncorrected and a cluster extent threshold 10 voxels. (C) Regions of interest in posterior temporo-parietal and medial prefrontal areas. Box-plots (median; 25 and 75th percentiles; 5 and 95th percentiles) show the distributions of effect-sizes for the studies in each group. Effect-sizes were weighted by intra-study variances. Significant convergence of effect-sizes above zero was determined by randomization tests; full circles indicate p < 0.005 uncorrected, z > 1. Empty circles indicate p < 0.05, z > 1.

Mentions: Schurz et al. (2014) looked at the most common tasks in the neuroimaging literature on ToM, and identified six large task groups. We give representative examples for these tasks in Table 1. When pooling brain activation over task groups, the meta-analysis found the typical mentalizing network described in the literature (Figure 1A). However, after performing separate meta-analyses for each task group (Figure 1B), convergence activation across tasks was found only in bilateral TPJ posterior (TPJp) and dorsal mPFC. The task specific activation patterns were then captured by ROI analyses, which are shown in Figure 1C. The TPJ ROIs were placed into different sub-areas based on results from a connectivity-based parcellation (Mars et al., 2011, 2012, 2013) of that area: More dorsal/posterior ROIs in the Inferior Parietal Lobule (IPL) and posterior TPJ (TPJp), and more anterior/ventral ROIs in the anterior TPJ (TPJa) and the posterior Middle Temporal Gyrus (pMTG). Furthermore, several ROIs were similarly placed in the mPFC according to a connectivity-parcellation (Sallet et al., 2013): a ventral mPFC ROI (in so-called connectivity cluster #4), and a dorsal mPFC ROI (connectivity cluster #3), as well as a posterior frontal cortex ROI (in connectivity cluster #2). Locations of these ROIs are indicated in Figure 1C.


An evaluation of neurocognitive models of theory of mind.

Schurz M, Perner J - Front Psychol (2015)

Summary of the results in Schurz et al. (2014). (A) Pooled meta-analysis on Theory of Mind (ToM) across all task-groups. Colors represent probability values from statistical permutation testing (z-values). (B) Conjunction of six meta-analyses, statistically powerful permutation-based overlap analysis (for details, see Schurz et al., 2014). Maps were thresholded at voxel-wise threshold of p < 0.005 uncorrected and a cluster extent threshold 10 voxels. (C) Regions of interest in posterior temporo-parietal and medial prefrontal areas. Box-plots (median; 25 and 75th percentiles; 5 and 95th percentiles) show the distributions of effect-sizes for the studies in each group. Effect-sizes were weighted by intra-study variances. Significant convergence of effect-sizes above zero was determined by randomization tests; full circles indicate p < 0.005 uncorrected, z > 1. Empty circles indicate p < 0.05, z > 1.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4628115&req=5

Figure 1: Summary of the results in Schurz et al. (2014). (A) Pooled meta-analysis on Theory of Mind (ToM) across all task-groups. Colors represent probability values from statistical permutation testing (z-values). (B) Conjunction of six meta-analyses, statistically powerful permutation-based overlap analysis (for details, see Schurz et al., 2014). Maps were thresholded at voxel-wise threshold of p < 0.005 uncorrected and a cluster extent threshold 10 voxels. (C) Regions of interest in posterior temporo-parietal and medial prefrontal areas. Box-plots (median; 25 and 75th percentiles; 5 and 95th percentiles) show the distributions of effect-sizes for the studies in each group. Effect-sizes were weighted by intra-study variances. Significant convergence of effect-sizes above zero was determined by randomization tests; full circles indicate p < 0.005 uncorrected, z > 1. Empty circles indicate p < 0.05, z > 1.
Mentions: Schurz et al. (2014) looked at the most common tasks in the neuroimaging literature on ToM, and identified six large task groups. We give representative examples for these tasks in Table 1. When pooling brain activation over task groups, the meta-analysis found the typical mentalizing network described in the literature (Figure 1A). However, after performing separate meta-analyses for each task group (Figure 1B), convergence activation across tasks was found only in bilateral TPJ posterior (TPJp) and dorsal mPFC. The task specific activation patterns were then captured by ROI analyses, which are shown in Figure 1C. The TPJ ROIs were placed into different sub-areas based on results from a connectivity-based parcellation (Mars et al., 2011, 2012, 2013) of that area: More dorsal/posterior ROIs in the Inferior Parietal Lobule (IPL) and posterior TPJ (TPJp), and more anterior/ventral ROIs in the anterior TPJ (TPJa) and the posterior Middle Temporal Gyrus (pMTG). Furthermore, several ROIs were similarly placed in the mPFC according to a connectivity-parcellation (Sallet et al., 2013): a ventral mPFC ROI (in so-called connectivity cluster #4), and a dorsal mPFC ROI (connectivity cluster #3), as well as a posterior frontal cortex ROI (in connectivity cluster #2). Locations of these ROIs are indicated in Figure 1C.

Bottom Line: We review nine current neurocognitive theories of how theory of mind (ToM) is implemented in the brain and evaluate them based on the results from a recent meta-analysis by Schurz et al. (2014), where we identified six types of tasks that are the most frequently used in imaging research on ToM.From theories about cognitive processes being associated with certain brain areas, we deduce predictions about which areas should be engaged by the different types of ToM tasks.We then compare these predictions with the observed activations in the meta-analysis, and identify a number of unexplained findings in current theories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Salzburg Salzburg, Austria.

ABSTRACT
We review nine current neurocognitive theories of how theory of mind (ToM) is implemented in the brain and evaluate them based on the results from a recent meta-analysis by Schurz et al. (2014), where we identified six types of tasks that are the most frequently used in imaging research on ToM. From theories about cognitive processes being associated with certain brain areas, we deduce predictions about which areas should be engaged by the different types of ToM tasks. We then compare these predictions with the observed activations in the meta-analysis, and identify a number of unexplained findings in current theories. These can be used to revise and improve future neurocognitive accounts of ToM.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus