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Neuropsychologia. 2004;42(9):1168-77.

Cortical Activations during judgments about the self and an other person.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


Self-related thought and other person related thought have received a great deal of study in recent years, but have seldom been examined in the same experiment. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the neural correlates of judgments of ones own preferences with judgments of another person's preferences. Each participant viewed food names and made one of three decisions: self (whether he or she liked the food); other (whether a specific friend liked the food), or letter (whether there were more than two vowels in the food name). Self and other decisions both activated bilateral medial areas of the frontal and parietal lobes and the bilateral insula in comparison to the letter task. Self activated superior medial parietal areas in comparison to other, whereas other led to greater activation in inferior medial parietal and left lateral frontal areas than self. These results indicate that the neural networks underlying self processing and other person processing may share common neural substrates, particularly regions associated with representation of the body and mental states.

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