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The social neuroscience of mentalizing: challenges and recommendations

Kliemann, Dorit and Adolphs, Ralph (2018) The social neuroscience of mentalizing: challenges and recommendations. Current Opinion in Psychology, 24 . pp. 1-6. ISSN 2352-250X. PMCID PMC6110997.

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Our ability to understand and think about the mental states of other people is referred to as “mentalizing” or “theory of mind”. It features prominently in all social behavior, is essential for maintaining relationships, and shows pronounced individual differences. Here we review new approaches to study the underlying psychological mechanisms and discuss how they could best be investigated using modern tools from social neuroscience. We list key desiderata for the field, such as validity, specificity, and reproducibility, and link them to specific recommendations for the future. We also discuss new computational modeling approaches, and the application to psychopathology.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Additional Information:© 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Received 2 December 2017, Revised 12 February 2018, Accepted 20 February 2018, Available online 27 February 2018. We thank David Amodio, Julian Jara-Ettinger, Hilary Richardson and Rebecca Saxe for comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. Funded in part by the Caltech Conte Center for the Neurobiology of Social Decision-Making (NIMH).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Conte Center for the Neurobiology of Social Decision MakingUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC6110997
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180227-111540968
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Official Citation:Dorit Kliemann, Ralph Adolphs, The social neuroscience of mentalizing: challenges and recommendations, Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 24, 2018, Pages 1-6, ISSN 2352-250X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84974
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Feb 2018 19:19
Last Modified:23 Jan 2020 17:16

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