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Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Oct;9(10):459-62.

Developmental parallels in understanding minds and bodies.

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  • Department of Psychology and Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers University, 152 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA. aleslie@ruccs.rutgers.edu


A recent article by Onishi and Baillargeon presents evidence that 15-month-old infants attribute false beliefs (FBs) to other people. If correct, it lends dramatic new support to the idea that mental state concepts ("theory of mind") emerge from a specialized neurocognitive mechanism that matures during the second year of life. But it also raises new puzzles concerning the FB task--puzzles that have intriguing parallels in results from infants' reasoning about solid bodies.

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