A nexus model of the temporal-parietal junction

Trends Cogn Sci. 2013 Jul;17(7):328-36. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2013.05.007. Epub 2013 Jun 20.


The temporal-parietal junction (TPJ) has been proposed to support either specifically social functions or non-specific processes of cognition such as memory and attention. To account for diverse prior findings, we propose a nexus model for TPJ function: overlap of basic processes produces novel secondary functions at their convergence. We present meta-analytic evidence that is consistent with the anatomical convergence of attention, memory, language, and social processing in the TPJ, leading to a higher-order role in the creation of a social context for behavior. The nexus model accounts for recent examples of TPJ contributions specifically to decision making in a social context and provides a potential reconciliation for competing claims about TPJ function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*