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School Psych Corner: White Matter Maturation Associated with Emergence of Theory of Mind

29th March, 2017

[Source:  The Journal Nature]

by Charlotte Grosse Wiesmann, Jan Schreiber, Tania Singer, Nikolaus Steinbeis, and Angela D. Friederici

Humans have the ability to represent what other people think and believe. This implies that we are able to understand that beliefs may differ from reality and, therefore, that people can have false beliefs about the world. This ability allows us to predict how a person with a false belief about the world will act so that we can adjust our own actions accordingly. As such, Theory of Mind (ToM) constitutes a key role for complex interaction between human individuals, including behaviours such as cooperation, social communication and morality1,2. Understanding that others can have false beliefs is considered to be a crucial test for ToM3. In childhood, there is a developmental breakthrough between the ages of 3 and 4 years, when children start passing standard

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