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Although many examples exist for shared neural representations of self and other, it is unknown how such shared representations interact with the rest of the brain. Furthermore, do high-level inference-based shared mentalizing representations interact with lower level embodied/simulation-based shared representations? We used functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and a functional connectivity approach to assess these questions during high-level inference-based mentalizing. Shared mentalizing representations in ventromedial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate/precuneus, and temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) all exhibited identical functional connectivity patterns during mentalizing of both self and other. Connectivity patterns were distributed across low-level embodied neural systems such as the frontal operculum/ventral premotor cortex, the anterior insula, the primary sensorimotor cortex, and the presupplementary motor area. These results demonstrate that identical neural circuits are implementing processes involved in mentalizing of both self and other and that the nature of such processes may be the integration of low-level embodied processes within higher level inference-based mentalizing.

Original publication

DOI

10.1162/jocn.2009.21287

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Cogn Neurosci

Publication Date

07/2010

Volume

22

Pages

1623 - 1635

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Brain Mapping, Cognition, Ego, Humans, Limbic System, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Nerve Net, Neural Pathways, Parietal Lobe, Prefrontal Cortex, Social Perception, Temporal Lobe, Theory of Mind, Young Adult