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Theory of Mind

What is it like to be an Octopus?

Boria Sax | Posted 05.26.2016 | Religion
Boria Sax

To imagine yourself an octopus, you must perhaps divide your very consciousness into at least seven parts, six arms or more and a head. To imagine this, you might think of seven friends or brothers, so close that they seem to be "inseparable."

The Power of Two: Why Sharing Is Better

Wray Herbert | Posted 10.28.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

We spend time every day in the company of others, but without explicit communication. Our lives unfold socially but silently, but even in the silence, good experiences get better and bad experiences get worse.

A First-Person Perspective on Anxiety and Autism

Daniel B. Peters, Ph.D. | Posted 06.29.2014 | Impact
Daniel B. Peters, Ph.D.

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I spoke to Dr. Catharine Alvarez so that she could share her perspective on autism and anxiety as an adult on the autism spectrum. We hear primarily about children and teens with autism, and it's so important to hear the voices of adults who experience autism themselves.

How To Be More Self-Aware

Bradley Foster | Posted 08.24.2013 | Healthy Living
Bradley Foster

I do know that awareness can be taught, it can be learned, it can be discovered, but I'm not sure that it can ever be arrived at. In other words, it's a gradual unpeeling where you never get to the core.

Autism and Empathy

Liane Kupferberg Carter | Posted 07.17.2013 | Impact
Liane Kupferberg Carter

So why does this myth that autistic people lack empathy persist? The reasons are complicated -- a convergence of media, popular culture, and ignorance.

Mirror Neurons and Why We Love Cinema: A Conversation with Vittorio Gallese and Michele Guerra in Parma

Karin Badt | Posted 07.13.2013 | Science
Karin Badt

Vittorio Gallese's latest interdisciplinary connection: mirror neurons and cinema. Why is it that we become so immersed when watching a film? What goes on inside our brains to create this empathetic connection with the screen?

Common Bird Might Be 'Mind Reader,' Researchers Say

| Posted 01.11.2013 | Science

By Michael Balter Are crows mind readers? Recent studies have suggested that the birds hide food because they think others will steal it -- a comple...

Social and Mechanical Reasoning Inhibit Each Other

Scott Barry Kaufman | Posted 01.06.2013 | Science
Scott Barry Kaufman

It appears we may have at least two main modes of thought, one that focuses on social interactions and the mental states of others, and another that focuses on inanimate objects and the physical principles that make them work. Both modes of thought can't be engaged simultaneously.

Culture of Greedy Mind Readers

Lisa Zunshine | Posted 12.03.2012 | Science
Lisa Zunshine

Most of the time we are not even aware that we are attributing thoughts and feelings to people. Sure, afterwards I construct elaborate clauses about what I thought about what you thought about what I thought. But when it's happening, it's fast, messy, and mostly nonverbal.

Debunking the Theory of Mind

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 08.18.2012 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

Bring up the word autism and you'll hear a great many theories. Simon Baron-Cohen is doing damage with a theory that was based on just 20 autistic participants.

Are People With Autism More Likely to Be Atheists?

Matthew Hutson | Posted 08.01.2012 | Science
Matthew Hutson

Scientists who study religion have come to agree that belief in God (or gods) relies on our ability, and propensity, to think about the minds of others. This means that if you are autistic and unable to "mentalize," you would be an atheist. New research provides fresh evidence for this claim.

Are Narcissists Better At Reading Minds?

Scott Barry Kaufman | Posted 04.22.2012 | Science
Scott Barry Kaufman

Andrew Whiten and Richard Byrne argue that primate intelligence stems from "Machiavellian Intelligence" -- the ability to manipulate and deceive others in the competition for scarce resources. According to this view, manipulative tendencies co-evolved with mind-reading ability.

Scientists Discover Fascinating Human-Like Trait In Chimps

Posted 02.09.2012 | Science

By: Charles Choi, LiveScience Contributor Published: 02/06/2012 03:06 PM EST on LiveScience Chimps know what tools others need to get work done ...

Why Kids Lie Every 90 Minutes

John Medina, Ph.D. | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
John Medina, Ph.D.

The child's realization that you can't always read his or her mind coincides with the flowering of something we call Theory of Mind skills.

Why Do We Read Fiction? It Could Be All About Mind Reading

The New York Times | PATRICIA COHEN | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

At a time when university literature departments are confronting painful budget cuts, a moribund job market and pointed scrutiny about the purpose and...