Reading other people's mind: insights from neuropsychology

J Neuropsychol. 2009 Mar;3(Pt 1):3-16. doi: 10.1348/174866408X377883.


When trying to make sense of other people's behaviour we usually invoke their mental states, such as their intentions, beliefs or emotions. This mind reading ability has been traditionally investigated in developmental psychology and comparative psychology but is now receiving increasing attention from the cognitive neurosciences. I will show the important role that neuropsychology plays in unravelling the cognitive and neural basis of our mind reading abilities. I will illustrate this by showing how cases of adults with acquired brain lesions can help us tease apart the different mechanisms that underlie mind reading abilities and can help us understand the nature of these mechanisms, especially their relation to language and executive function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Mental Processes / physiology*
  • Neuropsychology*
  • Psychological Theory
  • Reading*
  • Review Literature as Topic