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Neuroscientist. 2007 Dec;13(6):580-93. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

The role of the right temporoparietal junction in social interaction: how low-level computational processes contribute to meta-cognition.

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Department of Psychology, and Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Accumulating evidence from cognitive neuroscience indicates that the right inferior parietal cortex, at the junction with the posterior temporal cortex, plays a critical role in various aspects of social cognition such as theory of mind and empathy. With a quantitative meta-analysis of 70 functional neuroimaging studies, the authors demonstrate that this area is also engaged in lower-level (bottom-up) computational processes associated with the sense of agency and reorienting attention to salient stimuli. It is argued that this domain-general computational mechanism is crucial for higher level social cognitive processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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