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Understanding Other MindsPerspectives from developmental social neuroscience$
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Simon Baron-Cohen, Michael Lombardo, and Helen Tager-Flusberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692972.001.0001

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Mindreading by simulation

Mindreading by simulation

The roles of imagination and mirroring

Chapter:
(p.448) Chapter 25 Mindreading by simulation
Source:
Understanding Other Minds
Author(s):

Alvin I. Goldman

Jordan C. Lucy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692972.003.0025

This chapter updates the case for the simulation approach to mindreading. It shows how simulation theory successfully addresses four questions: (1) how mental-state attribution tasks are executed; (2) how simulation figures in the early acquisition of mentalizing; (3) how simulation comports with evidence about the neural basis of mentalizing, and (4) how it meshes with plausible accounts of brain evolution. A duplex approach to mindreading is presented that exemplifies the familiar dual-process model of cognition. “Enactment” imagination drives high-level mindreading whereas mirroring is the basis of low-level mindreading. The power of simulation is supported by a recent study showing that merely imagining eating can mimic genuine eating. Rival theories of mindreading (e.g., theory-theory and rationality theory) provide little or no explanation of many species of mindreading, especially attribution of sensations and emotions by means of facial expressions and other observable cues.

Keywords:   Default network, disgust, imagination, mentalizing, mindreading, mirroring, rationality theory, simulation theory, theory-theory

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