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Published March 24, 2006 | public
Journal Article

How do we know the minds of others? Domain-specificity, simulation, and enactive social cognition


In what ways, and to what extent, is social cognition distinguished from cognition in general? And how do data from cognitive neuroscience speak to this question? I review recent findings that argue social cognition may indeed be specialized, and at multiple levels. One particularly interesting respect in which social cognition differs from the rest of cognition is in its close interaction with the social environment. We actively probe other people in order to make inferences about what is going on in their minds (e.g., by asking them questions, and directing our gaze onto them), and we use the minds of other people as a collective resource. Experiments from our own laboratory point to the amygdala as one structure that is critically involved in such processes.

Additional Information

© 2006 Elsevier B.V. Accepted 30 December 2005, Available online 28 February 2006. Supported in part by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Cure Autism Now Foundation, and the Pfeiffer Research Foundation.

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August 22, 2023
October 24, 2023