Monday, October 28, 2019

How do we read each other's minds?

Ted Talk from Dr. Rebecca Saxe. Her MRI studies show that we humans have a specific brain area for accurately reading other minds, the right temporal-parietal junction (RTPJ). While we humans are good at understanding other minds, it's a lengthy learning and developmental process. It's not just the people have different but equal evaluations; through learning our evaluations about others' motives become more accurate. The less developed evaluation system has less RTPJ activation, and when confronted with a more realistic situation will come up with false narratives to justify their evaluations. This also applies directly to moral judgments.

While she did studies on how adults judged moral situations differently, which corresponded to greater or lesser activation of the RTPJ, she did not distinguish their political orientation in these differences. Nor did she discuss how indeed liberals and conservatives scored differently on developmental moral scales like Kohlberg's. However other such studies like this one indeed found such moral differences, as did this one. I haven't yet found yet such studies that show the differences in RTPJ activation correlated with liberals and conservatives but I'm guessing there is a correlation.

For example, this study notes differences in brain structure but not specifically the RTPJ. Also see this excellent FB discussion.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.