Scientific Colloquium
November 2, 2012

"How We Think about Other People's Thoughts"

Human brains are composed of the same kinds of brain cells as other animals' brains, from monkeys to sea slugs. And yet, what we can do with our human brains seems qualitatively different. We not only pass on our knowledge to our young; we build whole institutions devoted to teach perfect strangers. We not only make moral and social judgements about the people we encounter; we produce and consume novels and plays, comedies and tragedies. Using modern non-invasive neuroimaging, these aspects of human social behaviour can be traced back to the structure and function of our human brains. How the computations underlying these behaviors are implemented in neural circuits remains an open question.

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