The neural basis of desire reasoning for self and others: an event-related potential study

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Theory of mind refers to the ability to attribute mental states to self and others, and predict actions in terms of mental states. It is still unclear how certain kinds of processing occur in theory of mind operation. The present study compared neural activities elicited by desire reasoning for self and for others under consistent or inconsistent conditions using the event-related potential method. The results showed that the late positive component (LPC) associated with desire reasoning was larger during the 450–550 ms time period in the condition of reasoning for self than that for others when desires were inconsistent. A left hemisphere effect on the scalp distribution was observed for the LPC component. The present study showed that a left frontal LPC component might reflect the subjective categorization process in desire reasoning.

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