Mind Reading: Human Origins and Theory of Mind

Event Dates: 
Oct 18, 2013 -
1:00pm to 5:30pm
Event Chairs:

Donald Pfaff, Rockefeller University
Terry Sejnowski, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

The phrase "Theory of Mind" (ToM) has historically referred to the ability to impute mental states to oneself and others, but has been used in a variety of ways during the 35 years since the original Premack and Woodruff paper (1978). [PDF file available below for download.] The analysis of ToM has been the subject of many papers in developmental psychology and in anthropogeny, the latter focusing on differences in mental performance between humans versus other mammals and birds. Because precise definition is necessary for rigorous scientific analysis, the first talk will focus on what ToM is. The rest of the talks will cover the Ontogeny of Human ToM, relevant information on other mammals and birds, and the neuronal correlates and mechanisms of human ToM performance.

Event Sessions

Media for each talk can be played by clicking on icons in the "Media" column, or by clicking on the individual talk titles below and then the attachment file at the bottom of the page.

Date Media Session Title Speakers
Fri 10/18 File Welcome Ajit Varki, UC San Diego School of Medicine
Fri 10/18 File Opening Remarks Donald Pfaff, Rockefeller University
Fri 10/18 File What is Theory of Mind? Ralph Adolphs, California Institute of Technology
Fri 10/18 File "Mind Reading" in Chimpanzees Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Kyoto University
Fri 10/18 File Comparing Apes and Dogs Juliane Kaminski, University of Portsmouth
Fri 10/18 File The Social Brain in Adolescence Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, University College London
Fri 10/18 File Reflections of Dolphin and Elephant Minds Diana Reiss, Hunter College CUNY
Fri 10/18 File Mirror Neurons and More Michael Arbib, University of California, San Diego
Fri 10/18 File Brain Imaging Studies Jason Mitchell, Harvard University
Fri 10/18 File Emergence of Theory of Mind in Human Babies Jessica Sommerville, University of Washington
Fri 10/18 File What Makes Humans Different? Elizabeth Spelke, Harvard University
Fri 10/18 File Wrap-up Terry Sejnowski, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Fri 10/18 File Question and Answer Session All Speakers