Being able to comprehend communicative intentions and to recognize whether such intentions are directed toward us or not is extremely important in social interaction. Two brain systems, the mentalizing and the mirror neuron system, have been proposed to underlie intention recognition. However, little is still known about how the systems cooperate within the process of communicative intention understanding and to what degree they respond to self-directed and other-directed stimuli. To investigate the role of the mentalizing and the mirror neuron system, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging with four types of action sequence: communicative and private intentions as well as other-directed and self-directed intentions. Categorical and functional connectivity analyses showed that both systems contribute to the encoding of communicative intentions and that both systems are significantly stronger activated and more strongly coupled in self-directed communicative actions.