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Mean reaction times (ms) per condition

Mean reaction times (ms) per condition

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Theory of Mind (ToM) or mentalizing refers to the ability to attribute mental states (such as desires, beliefs or intentions) to oneself or others. ToM has been argued to operate in an explicit and an implicit or a spontaneous way. In their influential paper, Kovács et al. (Science 330:1830–1834, 2010) introduced an adapted false belief task—a ball...

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... Altercentricism is the biasing effect that another's point of view has on one's own egocentric cognition and behavior (Kampis & Southgate, 2020). A recent series of ToM studies with adults and infants supports this prediction (Bardi et al., 2017;Deschrijver et al., 2016;Kaddouri et al., 2020;Kovács et al., 2010;Kovács et al., 2014;Nijhof et al., 2017). These studies show that while implicitly tracking the beliefs of another agent, subjects behave (in terms of their reaction time) as if they actually shared the belief of the other agent. ...
... Simulation has been suggested as a plausible explanation for some of these altercentric effects involved in perspective-taking (Frischen et al., 2009;Ward et al., 2020;Ward et al., 2019). Particularly relevant here, however, are recent findings from change-oflocation false-belief studies showing that the false beliefs of others appear to influence subjects to behave as if they shared those false beliefs (Bardi et al., 2017;Deschrijver et al., 2016;Kaddouri et al., 2020;Kovács et al., 2010;Kovács et al., 2014;Nijhof et al., 2017). The results of our current study provide suggestive evidence that chimpanzees also show such altercentric effects in a change-of-location false belief task. ...
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Recent studies have shown that great apes predict that other agents will search for objects of interest where the agents believe the objects are hidden. Little is understood about the cognitive process that apes undergo to make such predictions. According to prevailing models, great apes make such predictions by metarepresenting others’ beliefs or perceptual states. We investigated the simpler simulation model. In this model, apes predict where other agents will search for objects of interest by simulating believing what another agent believes about the location of the object. The simulation model predicts that simulating what another believes should manifest in altercentric biasing effects, such as behaving as if one shares another’s belief in cases where the other’s belief is false. We tested this by giving chimpanzees a novel search paradigm embedded in a change-of-location false-belief test and measured where they searched for a grape that they witnessed moved from its original location to a new location. In true-belief trials, chimpanzees were presented with an agent who knew (as they did) that the grape was hidden in the new location; in false-belief trials, the agent falsely believed the grape was still hidden in the original location while the chimpanzee knew it was hidden in the new location. As predicted by the simulation model, chimpanzees searched for the grape closer to its original location than to its new location in significantly more false-belief trials than true-belief trials. Results suggest that chimpanzees show a signature altercentric biasing effect of simulating believing what others believe and may use simulation, rather than metarepresentation, to predict where others will search for objects of interest.
... Based on their paradigm, the gaze times of 7-month-old infants have been shown to be influenced by their expectations, in the same way as for adults (Kovács et al., 2010). Although this paradigm was later contested by some (Phillips et al., 2015), more recent research has obtained results like Kovács et al. and found that one's own and the other's beliefs have a significant effect on reaction time (van der Wel et al., 2014;Nijhof et al., 2016;El Kaddouri et al., 2020). Interactive behavioral tasks (Buttelmann et al., 2009;Southgate et al., 2010); violation of expectation (Onishi and Baillargeon, 2005) is also frequently used paradigms in implicit mentalizing research. ...
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Introduction: Mentalizing is a key aspect of social cognition. Several researchers assume that mentalization has two systems, an explicit one (conscious, relatively slow, flexible, verbal, inferential) and an implicit one (unconscious, automatic, fast, non-verbal, intuitive). In schizophrenia, several studies have confirmed the deficit of explicit mentalizing, but little data are available on non-explicit mentalizing. However, increasing research activity can be detected recently in implicit mentalizing. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to summarize the existing results of implicit mentalizing in schizophrenia. Methods: A systematic search was performed in four major databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Web of Science. Eleven publications were selected. Five studies were found to be eligible for quantitative synthesis, and 9 studies were included in qualitative synthesis. Results: The meta-analysis revealed significantly lower accuracy, slower reaction time during implicit mentalizing in patients with schizophrenia. The systematic review found different brain activation pattern, further alterations in visual scanning, cue fixation, face looking time, and difficulties in perspective taking. Discussion: Overall, in addition to the deficit of explicit mentalization, implicit mentalization performance is also affected in schizophrenia, if not to the same extent. It seems likely that some elements of implicit mentalization might be relatively unaffected (e.g., detection of intentionality), but the effectiveness is limited by certain neurocognitive deficits. These alterations in implicit mentalizing can also have potential therapeutic consequences.Systematic Review Registration: https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/, identifier: CRD42021231312.
... However, they detect the ball slightly faster when another agent in the scene (who is not relevant for participants' task) believes it to be present, indicating an influence of the agent's belief on people's responses (Kovács et al., 2010). While a subsequent study proposed that this effect may have been due to a manipulation in the paradigm related to the timing of participants' button presses during attention checks (Phillips et al., 2015), others have adapted the paradigm with matched timings between the different trials, replicated the effect, and consequently ruled out the attention check-based alternative explanation (el Kaddouri et al., 2019). The sensitivity to the other's perspective also appears in joint tasks where participants act together (Elekes, Bródy, et al., 2016;Freundlieb et al., 2016). ...
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Humans have a propensity to readily adopt others’ perspective, which often influences their behavior even when it seemingly should not. This altercentric influence has been widely studied in adults, yet we lack an understanding of its ontogenetic origins. The current studies investigated whether 14-month-olds’ search in a box for potential objects is modulated by another person’s belief about the box’s content. We varied the person’s potential belief such that in her presence/absence an object was removed, added, or exchanged for another, leading to her true/false belief about the object’s presence (Experiment 1, n = 96); or transformed into another object, leading to her true/false belief about the object’s identity (i.e., the objects represented under a specific aspect, Experiment 2, n = 32). Infants searched longer if the other person believed that an object remained in the box, showing an altercentric influence early in development. These results suggest that infants spontaneously represent others’ beliefs involving multiple objects and raise the possibility that infants can appreciate that others encode the world under a unique aspect.
... On the one hand, Phillips and colleagues' non-mentalistic critique does not extend to the infant study, but Heyes's interpretation does. On the other hand, Phillips and colleagues' non-mentalistic attention-check hypothesis has been tested and refuted in a recent study by El Kaddouri et al. (2019). in the P-A+ condition than in the P-A-condition because they had forgotten the ball's last motion and expected the ball to be there. ...
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Non-cognitive gadgets are fancy tools shaped to meet specific, local needs. Cecilia Heyes defines cognitive gadgets as dedicated psychological mechanisms (e.g. cooking and sporting expertise) created through social interactions and culturally, not genetically, inherited by humans. She has boldly proposed that many human cognitive mechanisms (including imitation, numeracy, literacy, language and mindreading) are gadgets. If true, these claims would have far-reaching implications for our scientific understanding of human social cognition. Here we assess Heyes’s cognitive gadget approach as it applies to mindreading. We do not think that the evidence supports Heyes’s thought-provoking thesis that human children are taught to read minds the way they are taught to read words. We highlight a potential circularity lurking behind this analogy, and we explain why we are unpersuaded by Heyes’s anti-mentalistic proposal for handling data inconsistent with the gadget view, which others take to be evidence for mindreading in human infancy. We conclude that while human minds may well be filled with gadgets, mindreading is unlikely to be one of them.
... Importantly, however, further research demonstrated that the paradigm used in these studies suffered from subtle confounds in the timing of a critical attention check, and once these confounds were controlled for, or simply removed, the results no longer suggested that participants automatically calculated others' beliefs . Apart from this prominent piece of evidence, there are also a few other studies that have argued in support of automatic belief representation (Bardi, Desmet, & Brass, 2018;El Kaddouri, Bardi, De Bremaeker, Brass, & Wiersema, 2019;van der Wel, Sebanz, & Knoblich, 2014), and considerable evidence that strongly suggests that belief representation is not automatic (Apperly, Riggs, Simpson, Chiavarino, & Samson, 2006; (Apperly, Back, Samson, & France, 2008;Apperly, Samson, & Humphreys, 2009;Schneider, Lam, Bayliss, & Dux, 2012). To illustrate with one example, had participants view videos in which an agent either formed knowledge of the location of an object or instead formed a false belief about the location of the object. ...
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I accept the main thesis of the article according to which representation of knowledge is more basic than representation of belief. But I question the authors’ contention that humans' unique capacity to represent belief does not underwrite the capacity for the accumulation of cultural knowledge.
... Importantly, however, further research demonstrated that the paradigm used in these studies suffered from subtle confounds in the timing of a critical attention check, and once these confounds were controlled for, or simply removed, the results no longer suggested that participants automatically calculated others' beliefs . Apart from this prominent piece of evidence, there are also a few other studies that have argued in support of automatic belief representation (Bardi, Desmet, & Brass, 2018;El Kaddouri, Bardi, De Bremaeker, Brass, & Wiersema, 2019;van der Wel, Sebanz, & Knoblich, 2014), and considerable evidence that strongly suggests that belief representation is not automatic (Apperly, Riggs, Simpson, Chiavarino, & Samson, 2006; (Apperly, Back, Samson, & France, 2008;Apperly, Samson, & Humphreys, 2009;Schneider, Lam, Bayliss, & Dux, 2012). To illustrate with one example, had participants view videos in which an agent either formed knowledge of the location of an object or instead formed a false belief about the location of the object. ...
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We summarize research and theory to show that, from early in human ontogeny, much information about other minds can be gleaned from reading the eyes. This analysis suggests that eyes serve as uniquely human windows into other minds, which critically extends the target article by drawing attention to what might be considered the neurodevelopmental origins of knowledge attribution in humans.
... Importantly however, further research demonstrated that the paradigm used in these studies suffered from subtle confounds in the timing of a critical attention check, and once these confounds were controlled for, or simply removed, the results no longer suggested that participants automatically calculated others' beliefs (Phillips, et al., 2015). Apart from this prominent piece of evidence, there are also a few other studies that have argued in support of automatic belief representation (Bardi, et al., 2018;El Kaddouri, et al., 2019;van der Wel, et al., 2014), and considerable evidence that strongly suggests that belief representation is not automatic (Apperly, et al., 2006;Kulke, et al., 2019;Low & Edwards, 2018;. ...
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Research on the capacity to understand others' minds has tended to focus on representations of beliefs, which are widely taken to be among the most central and basic theory of mind representations. Representations of knowledge, by contrast, have received comparatively little attention and have often been understood as depending on prior representations of belief. After all, how could one represent someone as knowing something if one doesn't even represent them as believing it? Drawing on a wide range of methods across cognitive science, we ask whether belief or knowledge is the more basic kind of representation. The evidence indicates that non-human primates attribute knowledge but not belief, that knowledge representations arise earlier in human development than belief representations, that the capacity to represent knowledge may remain intact in patient populations even when belief representation is disrupted, that knowledge (but not belief) attributions are likely automatic, and that explicit knowledge attributions are made more quickly than equivalent belief attributions. Critically, the theory of mind representations uncovered by these various methods exhibit a set of signature features clearly indicative of knowledge: they are not modality-specific, they are factive, they are not just true belief, and they allow for representations of egocentric ignorance. We argue that these signature features elucidate the primary function of knowledge representation: facilitating learning from others about the external world. This suggests a new way of understanding theory of mind-one that is focused on understanding others' minds in relation to the actual world, rather than independent from it.
... In addition, there have recently been some large-scale studies that variously reported successful, partial and nonreplications of specifically anticipatory looking time results, indicating that more research is required to establish the robustness of these results (e.g., Kulke, Von Duhn, Schneider, & Rakoczy, 2018;Kulke & Göttingen, 2017;Kulke, Johannsen, & Rakoczy, 2019). However, arguments against submentalizing interpretations of implicit theory of mind data include the involvement of core mentalizing regions such as the TPJ in implicit tasks (Bardi et al., 2017;Bardi, Six, & Brass, 2018;Bowman, 2015;Filmer, Fox, & Dux, 2019;Hyde et al., 2015;Kovács et al., 2014;Naughtin et al., 2017;Nijhof et al., 2018;Nijhof, Brass, Bardi, & Wiersema, 2016;Schneider, Slaughter, et al., 2014), a relationship of results with traits of autism and similar results to the original implicit mentalizing task described above in a recent study which removed the timing differences between conditions from the task (El Kaddouri, Bardi, De Bremaeker, Brass, & Wiersema, 2019; for still other arguments, see Schneider, Slaughter, & Dux, 2017). ...
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The most dominant theory of human social cognition, the theory of mind hypothesis, emphasizes our ability to infer the mental states of others. After having represented the mental states of another person, however, we can also have an idea of how well our thinking aligns with theirs, and our sensitivity to this alignment may guide the flow of our social interactions. Here, we focus on the distinction between "mindreading" (inferring another's mental representation) and detecting the extent to which a represented mental state of another person is matching or mismatching with our own (mental conflict monitoring). We propose a reframing for mentalizing data of the past 40 years in terms of mental conflict monitoring rather than mental representation. Via a systematic review of 51 false belief neuroimaging studies, we argue that key brain regions implicated in false belief designs (namely, temporoparietal junction areas) may methodologically be tied to mental conflict rather than to mental representation. Patterns of false belief data suggests that autism may be tied to a subtle issue with monitoring mental conflict combined with intact mental representation, rather than to lacking mental representation abilities or "mindblindness" altogether. The consequences of this view for the larger social-cognitive domain are explored, including for perspective taking, moral judgments, and understanding irony and humor. This provides a potential shift in perspective for psychological science, its neuroscientific bases, and related disciplines: Throughout life, an adequate sensitivity to how others think differently (relational mentalizing) may be more fundamental to navigating the social world than inferring which thoughts others have (representational mentalizing). (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... The task is considered to target automatic belief tracking because no reference is made to the agent's belief about the ball's location. The critical finding, which has been well-documented [30][31][32][33][34][35][36] , is that, compared to a baseline situation in which neither the participant nor agent expected the ball to be present (P−A−), participants are faster to respond when only the agent expected the ball to be present (P−A+), implying that the agent's belief regarding the ball's location is automatically encoded. That is, there is a task-irrelevant effect of the agent's belief on the participant's performance. ...
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Our motor system can generate representations which carry information about the goals of another agent’s actions. However, it is not known whether motor representations play a deeper role in social understanding, and, in particular, whether they enable tracking others’ beliefs. Here we show that, for adult observers, reliably manifesting an ability to track another’s false belief critically depends on representing the agent’s potential actions motorically. One signature of motor representations is that they can be disrupted by constraints on an observed agent’s action capacities. We therefore used a ‘mummification’ technique to manipulate whether the agent in a visual ball-detection task was free to act or whether he was visibly constrained from acting. Adults’ reaction times reliably reflected the agent’s beliefs only when the agent was free to act on the ball and not when the agent was visibly constrained from acting. Furthermore, it was the agent’s constrained action capabilities, rather than any perceptual novelty, that determined whether adult observers’ reaction times reliably reflected the agent’s beliefs. These findings signal that our motor system may underpin more of social cognition than previously imagined, and, in particular, that motor representations may underpin automatic false-belief tracking.
... On the other hand, there is also evidence suggesting that belief inferences can be made automatically (Schneider, Bayliss, Becker, & Dux, 2012;Schneider, Nott, & Dux, 2014;Schneider, Slaughter, & Dux, 2017), to the extent that people's own action selections may be influenced by others' beliefs (van der Wel, Sebanz, & Knoblich, 2014), even when participants are explicitly instructed to prioritize their own beliefs (Meert, Wang, & Samson, 2017). Even in a simple object-detection task, where the goal is just to press a button to detect the presence of a ball, adults' reaction times are speeded when only a bystander happens to believe the object is present, compared to when neither the participant nor the bystander believes the object is present (Bardi, Desmet, & Brass, 2018;Deschrijver, Bardi, Wiersema, & Brass, 2016; El Kaddouri, Bardi, De Bremaeker, Brass, & Wiersema, 2019;Kovács, Téglás, & Endress, 2010;Nijhof, Brass, Bardi, & Wiersema, 2016;Nijhof, Brass, & Wiersema, 2017). In Kovács and colleagues' object-detection task, adults watched animated movies in which a Smurf character observed a ball move around a table. ...
... While there is a growing number of studies utilizing the object-detection paradigm for measuring whether and to what extent certain mindreading inferences can be automatic, the conclusions drawn have been contentious given criticisms that the critical effects are just artefacts of the timings in the attention checks used by the researchers to ensure participants' task compliance (Phillips et al., 2015). However, a recent object-detection study found that the Kovács et al. (2010) critical P−A+ < P−A− effect was maintained despite ensuring that the attention check occurred at exactly the same time across all trials (El Kaddouri et al., 2019). Another study, involving a group of adults with high functioning autism (Deschrijver et al., 2016), found a negative correlation between the size of the critical effect and the severity of autism spectrum disorder symptoms. ...
Article
Little is known about whether human beings' automatic mindreading is computationally restricted to processing a limited kind of content, and what exactly the nature of that signature limit might be. We developed a novel object-detection paradigm to test adults' automatic processing in a Level 1 perspective-taking (L1PT) context (where an agent's belief, but not his visuospatial perspective, is relevantly different) and in a Level 2 perspective-taking (L2PT) context (where both the agent's belief and visuospatial perspective are relevantly different). Experiment 1 uncovered that adults' reaction times in the L1PT task were helpfully speeded by a bystander's irrelevant belief when tracking two homogenous objects but not in the L2PT task when tracking a single heterogeneous object. The limitation is especially striking given that the heterogeneous nature of the single object was fully revealed to participants as well as the bystander. The results were replicated in two further experiments , which confirmed that the selective modulation of adults' reaction times was maintained when tracking the location of a single object (Experiment 2) and when attention checks were removed (Experiment 3). Our findings suggest that automatic mindreading draws upon a distinctively minimalist model of the mental that underspecifies representation of differences in perspective relative to an agent's position in space.