engineering a better experience
Thursday, December 31, 2009 (Updated )

Thinking About Other People's Thoughts

by The Metaist


The right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) appears to be dedicated to thinking about other people's thoughts. You can alter people's judgments of others by interfering with the rTPJ's activity.

(Video: YouTube via TED)



In the video, Rebecca Saxe mistakenly attributed the following quote to Alan Greenspan when it was actually said by Robert McCloskey:

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.


Moral thinking is critical in many legal systems. In fact, the insanity defense depends on demonstrating that the defendant is incapable of moral thinking (temporarily or permanently). I imagine this research has far-reaching consequences.


Suppose you know that someone has a deficient rTPJ; how does that alter your perception of their judgments?