Second, Gordon problematically assumes that our mentalistic abilities are constituted by language Carruthers More specifically, mastery of the grammatical rules for embedding tensed complement clauses under verbs of speech or cognition provides children with a necessary representational format for dealing with false beliefs. However, correlation between linguistic exposure and mindreading does not depend on the use of specific grammatical structures. Moreover, syntax is not constitutive of the mentalistic capacities of adults.
Varley et al. Finally, mastery of sentence complements is not even a necessary condition of the development of mindreading in children. Perner et al. This claim finds its main support in the interplay between ST and neuroscience. In the early s mirror neurons were first described in the ventral premotor cortex and inferior parietal lobe of macaque monkeys. These visuomotor neurons activate not only when the monkey executes motor acts such as grasping, manipulating, holding, and tearing objects , but also when it observes the same, or similar, acts performed by the experimenter or a conspecific.
Although there is only one study that seems to offer direct evidence for the existence of mirror neurons in humans Mukamel et al. For example, fMRI studies using action observation or imitation tasks demonstrated activation in areas in the human ventral premotor and parietal cortices assumed to be homologous to the areas in the monkey cortex containing mirror neurons see Rizzolatti et al. It should be emphasized that most of the mirror neurons that discharge when a certain type of motor act is performed also activate when the same act is perceived, even though it is not performed with the same physical movement—for example, many mirror neurons that discharge when the monkey grasps food with the hand also activate when it sees a conspecific who grasps food with the mouth.
This seems to suggest that mirror neurons code or represent an action at a high level of abstraction, that is, they are receptive not only to a mere movement but indeed to an action. In , Vittorio Gallese and Goldman wrote a very influential article in which mirror neurons were indicated as the basis of the simulative process.
Some critics, although admitting the presence of mirror neurons in both non-human and human primates, have drastically reappraised their role in mindreading. On the other hand, Goldman himself has mitigated his original position. By the early 21 st century, the primacy that both TT and ST assigns to mindreading in social cognition had been challenged.
Mind, philosophy of
We must rethink the traditional nexus between intelligent behavior and propositional attitudes, realizing that much social understanding and social coordination are subserved by mechanisms that do not capitalize on the machinery of intentional psychology. He offers two examples. Applying this heuristic simply requires understanding the moves available to each player cooperation or defection , and remembering what happened in the last round. So we have here a case of social interaction that is conducted on the basis of a heuristic strategy that looks backward to the results of previous interactions rather than to their psychological etiology.
Nevertheless, they implement relatively simple processes of template matching and pattern recognition, that is, processes that are paradigmatic cases of perceptual processing. For example, when a player A applies the tit-for-tat rule, A must determine what the other player B did in the preceding round.
Massimo Marraffa Email: marraffa uniroma3. Theory of Mind Theory of Mind is the branch of cognitive science that investigates how we ascribe mental states to other persons and how we use the states to explain and predict the actions of those other persons. Theory-Theory Social psychologists have investigated mindreading since at least the s.
First-Person Mindreading and Theory-Theory During the s and s most of the work in Theory of Mind was concerned with the mechanisms that subserve the attribution of psychological states to others third-person mindreading. Simulation-Theory Until the mids the debate on the nature of mindreading was a debate between the different variants of TT. Social Cognition without Mindreading By the early 21 st century, the primacy that both TT and ST assigns to mindreading in social cognition had been challenged.
References and Further Reading a. Suggested Further Reading Apperly, I. Carruthers, P. Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Churchland, P. Guttenplan ed. Cundall, M.
Davies, M. Oxford, Blackwell. Mental Simulation: Evaluations and Applications. Decety, J.
The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Doherty, M. Theory of Mind. Hove, East Sussex, Psychology Press.
Dokic, J. Simulation and Knowledge of Action. Amsterdam, John Benjamins. Gerrans, P. Berntson and J. Cacioppo eds. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, vol. Gordon, R. Hutto, D. Kind, A. Meini, C. Marraffa, M. De Caro and F. Ferretti eds. Dordrecht, Kluwer, pp. Nichols, S. London, Nature Publishing Group, pp. Ravenscroft, I. Rizzolatti, G. Mirrors in the Brain. Saxe, R. Markman, W. Klein and J. Suhr eds. New York, Psychology Press, pp. Shanton, K. Stich, S. Craig ed. London, Routledge.
Von Eckardt, B. Oxford, Blackwell, pp. Weiskopf, D. References Apperly, I. Axelrod, R. The Evolution of Cooperation. New York, Basic Books. Baillargeon, R.
Bem, D. Berkowitz ed. New York, Academic Press, vol. Philosophy of Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction. Keeley ed. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. Bickle, J. Dordrecht, Kluwer. Botterill, G. The Philosophy of Psychology.
The Mind/Brain Identity Theory (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Carey, S. Carruthers and P. Smith eds. The Architecture of the Mind.