ERIC Number: EJ848053
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Neural Correlates of Belief- and Desire-Reasoning
Liu, David; Meltzoff, Andrew N.; Wellman, Henry M.
Child Development, v80 n4 p1163-1171 Jul-Aug 2009
Theory of mind requires an understanding of both desires and beliefs. Moreover, children understand desires before beliefs. Little is known about the mechanisms underlying this developmental lag. Additionally, previous neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies have neglected the direct comparison of these developmentally critical mental-state concepts. Event-related brain potentials were recorded as participants (N = 24; mean age = 22 years) reasoned about diverse-desires, diverse-beliefs, and parallel physical situations. A mid-frontal late slow wave (LSW) was associated with desire and belief judgments. A right-posterior LSW was only associated with belief judgments. These findings demonstrate neural overlap and critical differences in reasoning explicitly about desires and beliefs, and they suggest children recruit additional neural processes for belief judgments beyond a common, more general, mentalizing neural system.
Descriptors: Brain, Neurological Organization, Children, Developmental Stages, Diagnostic Tests, Cognitive Processes, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Child Development
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A