When you try to read other people’s thoughts, or guess why they are behaving a certain way, you employ a skill known as theory of mind. This skill, as measured by false-belief tests, takes time to develop: In children, it doesn’t start appearing until the age of 4 or 5. Brain and Cognitive Sciences grad student Hyowon Gweon helped MIT neuroscientist Rebecca Saxe to show that in adults, theory of mind is seated in a specific brain region known as the right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ). Saxe and colleagues have now shown how brain activity in the TPJ changes as children learn to reason about others’ thoughts and feelings. Read the rest of the story on MITnews. Also, check out Gweon’s Student Snapshot and video on the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education website!
How Children Learn: Hyowon Gweon on Childhood Cognition
August 30, 2012