One remarkable feature of our social abilities is that we are not only able to reflect on our own mental states, such as our desires, intentions, or beliefs but we can also have some insight into other people’s mental lives. The awareness and ability to shift between our own and other people’s perspective plays a fundamental role in guiding how we interact with other people. Recent work in the lab has combined behavioural measures with fMRI to investigate the cognitive and brain systems underpinning perspective-taking abilities. For example, one line of research has examined the surprising finding that, in some situations, another person’s viewpoint is more salient than one’s own viewpoint. Other research has examined which brain systems control the interaction between perspective-taking and action perception. That is, how does what another person sees or believes influence how we make sense of their actions?
Wang, J. J., Dongo Miletich, D., Ramsey, R. & Samson, D. (2014). Adults See Vision to be More Informative than It Is. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67(12), 2279-2292.
Ramsey, R., Hanson, P., Apperly, I., & Samson, D. (2013). Seeing it my way or your way: Frontoparietal brain areas sustain viewpoint-independent perspective selection processes. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25(5), 670-684.
Mazzarella, E., Ramsey, R., Conson, M., & Hamilton, A. (2013). Brain systems for perspective taking and action perception. Social Neuroscience, 8(3), 248-267.
Ramsey, R., & Hamilton, A. F. de C. (2012). How does your own knowledge influence the perception of other people’s actions in the human brain? Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 7, 242-251