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Theory of Mind and the Self by: Francesca Happe

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Theory of Mind and the Self by: Francesca Happe Group 5: Hans, Joey, Sumanth, Tim Outline What is ToM? Theory of mind refers to the everyday ability to attribute ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Theory of Mind and the Self by: Francesca Happe


1
Theory of Mind and the Self by Francesca Happe
  • Group 5
  • Hans, Joey, Sumanth, Tim

2
Outline
Theory of mind and the self Theory of own mind
and theory of other minds Autism-a disorder of
Theory of Mind fMRI studies of Theory of Mind
and self-reflection
3
What is ToM?
  • Theory of mind refers to the everyday ability to
    attribute independent mental states to self and
    others in order to predict or explain behavior
  • These thoughts are normal for social interaction
  • Example we make sense of peoples behavior via
    belief-desire psychology
  • Its easy to explain why Jon will carry an
    umbrella with him, because believes it will rain
    and wants to stay dry

4
Cognitive Processes of ToM
  • Some favor a more general explanation
  • Simulation, general theory building
  • Others argue for the necessity of a dedicated
    cognitive mechanism
  • Innate mechanism supported by a relative lack of
    normal individual difference or cross-cultural
    variation, and an acquisition of ToM early in
    childhood
  • They also mention that even though it is innate,
    it needs triggering input, like social
    interactions

5
Testing ToM
  • The litmus test
  • Attributing false beliefs
  • Where prediction and explanation of action cannot
    be based simply on the state of the world
  • To pass the test, one must keep particular
    beliefs of another person separate from their own
    beliefs

6
Testing Continued
  • Children are tested at only 3-4 and older due to
    the high verbal and executive task demands
  • Sally-Anne Task
  • A location change task
  • Smarties Task
  • A content change task

7
Theory of Own Mind and Theory of Other Mind
  • Are the same mechanisms involved for ToM and
    ToOM?
  • There are different input channels
  • But it is crucial to distinguish mental states
    from representations of reality
  • Keeping reality separate from belief

8
Theory of Others Minds
  • For example its necessary to distinguish the
    represenations of the reality that there is a
    pencil in the tube from the representation of
    belief that, I thought there are sweets in the
    tube
  • From here we can postulate that the same
    mechanism involved in keeping mental states
    separate from reality does not change depending
    if these states are you own states or others
    states

9
Leslie (1987)
  • He suggested that understanding of pretense in
    infancy demonstrates the availability of a
    special form of representation for mental states
  • He describes that there is a separation between
    first-order representations and
    meta-representations of real world states
  • Meta-representation is necessary to attribute
    mental states

10
ToOM
  • Underlying our social understanding must be
    representations that capture who is thinking what
    and in what sense they are thinking it
  • When children are able to report their mental
    state, they are also able to report the mental
    states of others

11
Autism
  • Autistic children seem to lack the ability to
    attribute mental states
  • These children also lack pretend play
  • This observation led researchers to believe
    meta-representation may be impaired and cannot
    conceptualize mental states thus ToM deficits

12
Autism
  • It is important to note that these individuals do
    not lack mental states, but are unable to reflect
    on their own mental states.
  • Asperger Syndrome are almost as good as controls
    when it comes to the more basic theory of mind
    tasks.

13
Autism
  • Baron-Cohen (1993)
  • Method
  • 2 groups
  • 16 (high functioning ASP)
  • 16 (controls)
  • Matched gender/age
  • Basically a fill in the last box of a comic exp

14
Baron-Cohen Results
  • A character intention (CI) condition
  • A physical causality (PC)
  • The ASP did much better in the PC condition than
    in the CI condition. (plt0.001)
  • ASP did as well as controls in the false-belief
    tasks.

15
Autism and ToM
  • It is easy to study lack of ToM regarding other
    peoples mindstates.
  • However, it is hard to evaluate in experimental
    situations the inability of autistics to know
    their own mindstate.
  • What kind of experiments can you do in the future?

16
Weak Central Coherence Theory
  • The limited ability to see the context and the
    big picture.
  • The theory tries to explain why Autistics have
    skills in some areas.
  • The contention is that Autistics may not see the
    bigger picture but they see details pretty well.

17
Results
18
Results
  • Frontal Lobe
  • -Planning
  • -Working Memory
  • -Binding
  • -Interpreter?

Amygdala -Emotional Learning -Problem with this
experiment
Anterior Cingulate -NOT lit up with autistic
people
19
Results
  • 1) The same areas activated when subjects
    reflected on their own inner states
  • -there is a overlap of brain networks
  • 2) Baseline minds are introspective
  • 3) Areas of ToM that are activated were not the
    same areas where mirror neurons are typically
    found.

20
Where To Go From Here
  • What else can we find out?
  • -Look for people with brain lesions
  • -Find individuals who can report on own mental
    states but not others
  • -vice versa

21
Where To Go From Here
  • Why do we have a ToM?
  • -Fitness Advantages
  • -Evolved from humans being social creatures
  • -Do animals have ToM?
  • -Learning

22
Where To Go From Here
  • Does ToM always keep going?
  • -ToM gets more accurate the more social
    situations we are placed in
  • -Why old people are senile?
  • -Is there a plateau?

23
Where To Go From Here
  • Is ToM innate? Is ToOM innate?
  • Which came first?
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