Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The ability to represent desires and intentions as two distinct mental states was investigated in patients with parietal (N=8) and frontal (N=6) lesions and in age-matched controls (N=7). A task was used where the satisfaction of the desire and the fulfilment of the intention did not co-vary and were manipulated in a 2 × 2 set. In two experiments we show that lesions to the frontal lobe may impair the ability to deal with desires when their outcome is not congruent with that of the intention, and that parietal damage - especially if it encompasses the left temporo-parietal junction - may cause severe difficulties in the processing of both desires and intentions. The implications of the results for the neuropsychological and the developmental literature are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





203 - 216


Aged, Analysis of Variance, Brain Injuries, Brain Mapping, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Neuropsychological Tests, Parietal Lobe