The claim behind """"""""theory of mind"""""""" is that certain core conceptions organize and enable our everyday understanding of the social world. In particular, social cognition is based on thinking of people in terms of their mental states-their beliefs, desires, hopes, goals, and inner feelings. This everyday assumption of mind is powerful and constraining. It leads us to try to use the mind and increase its powers, to share inner experiences, to distinguish between purely imaginary and real events, and to interact with other persons by searching for and reaching out to their underlying mentalities. A mentalistic construal of persons is fundamental not only to adults;some essential parts of it develop early in childhood. This raises intriguing questions: (1) When do children know what about basic mental-psychological states-beliefs, desires, emotions? (2) What conceptual progressions or sequences characterize development, for normally developing and delayed individuals? (3) How does change occur: How are these conceptions developed and socio-culturally transmitted;what factors shape understanding;to what extent is a mentalistic construal of persons widespread across cultures vs. limited to our society? (4) To what extent are theory of mind understandings specially supported in the brain;how are such brain mechanisms assembled and revised developmentally? The proposed research encompasses 9 interrelated investigations designed to address these questions. The investigations include meta-analytic, conversational, laboratory, and neurophysiological studies that build on and advance my recent related research, and that are designed to answer questions about sequence, change, cultural differences and similarities, and brain bases of our everyday theory of mind. The studies focus especially on the preschool years, a period of crucial change and transition for """"""""theory of mind"""""""" understandings, and a period that bridges the gap from infancy to childhood and adulthood.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
Project #
3R37HD022149-19S1
Application #
7936747
Study Section
Cognition and Perception Study Section (CP)
Program Officer
Maholmes, Valerie
Project Start
2009-09-30
Project End
2011-09-29
Budget Start
2009-09-30
Budget End
2011-09-29
Support Year
19
Fiscal Year
2009
Total Cost
$202,171
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
073133571
City
Ann Arbor
State
MI
Country
United States
Zip Code
48109
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Rhodes, Marjorie; Hetherington, Chelsea; Brink, Kimberly et al. (2015) Infants' use of social partnerships to predict behavior. Dev Sci 18:909-16
Bowman, Lindsay C; Kovelman, Ioulia; Hu, Xiaosu et al. (2015) Children's belief- and desire-reasoning in the temporoparietal junction: evidence for specialization from functional near-infrared spectroscopy. Front Hum Neurosci 9:560
Lane, Jonathan D; Harris, Paul L; Gelman, Susan A et al. (2014) More than meets the eye: young children's trust in claims that defy their perceptions. Dev Psychol 50:865-71
O'Reilly, Karin; Peterson, Candida C; Wellman, Henry M (2014) Sarcasm and advanced theory of mind understanding in children and adults with prelingual deafness. Dev Psychol 50:1862-77
Brandone, Amanda C; Horwitz, Suzanne R; Aslin, Richard N et al. (2014) Infants' goal anticipation during failed and successful reaching actions. Dev Sci 17:23-34
Dunphy-Lelii, Sarah; Labounty, Jennifer; Lane, Jonathan D et al. (2014) The Social Context of Infant Intention Understanding. J Cogn Dev 15:60-77
Wellman, Henry M; Peterson, Candida C (2013) Deafness, thought bubbles, and theory-of-mind development. Dev Psychol 49:2357-67

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