Dissociation between decoding and reasoning about mental states in patients with theory of mind reasoning impairments.
Njomboro P., Deb S., Humphreys GW.
Theory of mind (ToM) reasoning may involve a multiplicity of processes, including an initial stage, where cues relevant for social processes are detected and decoded, and a mentalizing stage, where the decoded information is used to reason about mental states. Here we report that the processing of lower-order facial cues relevant to social judgments can be relatively spared in patients with impaired ToM reasoning. We discuss the implications for understanding the mechanisms underlying social judgments in brain-lesioned patients.