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Clinical Psychology and Special Education

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2304-0394


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Neural Mechanisms of Theory of Mind in Autism and Schizophrenia: A Review of fMRI Studies 167

Iosifyan M.
PhD in Psychology, Research Associate, Department of neuro- and pathopsychology, Faculty of psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Mershina E.A.
PhD in Medicine, Head of CT and MRI Unit at Radiology Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University Medical Research and Educational Center, Moscow, Russia

Bazhenova D.A.
Radiologist, Radiology Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University Medical Research and Educational Center, Moscow, Russia

Sinitsyn V.E.
Doctor of Medicine, Head of Radiology Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University Medical Research and Educational Center, Moscow, Russia

Larina O.M.
PhD in Medicine, Radiologist, Radiology Department, omonosov Moscow State University Medical Research and Educational Center, Moscow, Russia

Pechenkova E.V.
PhD in Psychology, Leading research fellow, Laboratory for Cognitive Research, Department of Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Theory of mind is a cognitive ability, which enables to understand intentions, emotions and beliefs of another person. Because of theory of mind, people are able to interpret behavior of others and adapt to it. Numerous psychiatric impairments are associated with damaged theory of mind and communication with others. The present review analyses the impairments of theory of mind as laying on a continuum from hypermentalization (over-attribution of intentions to others) to hypomentalization (under-attribution of intentions to others) in autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. FMRI paradigm of different subprocesses of theory of mind is described (perceptual mind-reading, cognitive theory of mind, “hot” theory of mind and implicit theory of mind). Neural mechanisms of these subprocesses and their impairments in autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia analyzed.

Keywords: utism spectrum disorders; schizophrenia; fMRI; mentalization; Theory of Mind

Column: Theoretical research


For Reference


this research is conducted and funded in accordance with Lomonosov Moscow State University state assignment, topic No. АААА-А19-119120690098-6

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