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The Role of the Right Temporoparietal Junction in Social Interaction: How Low-Level Computational Pr

The Role of the Right Temporoparietal Junction in Social Interaction: How Low-Level Computational Pr

  1. Crazy Insane Sanity
    JEAN DECETY and CLAUS LAMM
    Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, and Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

    The TPJ appears to be a vital area in connecting the mind and body. After reading into this brain region, I can't help but to feel that it is quite possibly an important area affected during dissociative experiences, such as those resulting from the ingestion of DXM or ketamine (though I'm still trying to find more evidence).

    The following paper demonstrates the potential role of the right TPJ in social cognition, such as theory of mind and empathy.

    Excerpt:
    "Accumulating evidence from neuroimaging studies, as
    well as lesion studies in neurological patients, indicates that the right inferior parietal cortex at the junction with the posterior temporal cortex plays a critical role in comparing signals arising from self-produced actions with signals from the environment (Blakemore and Frith 2003; Jackson and Decety 2004). Interestingly, it appears that this computational mechanism is also crucial for the higher-level cognitive processing involved in social cognitions such as empathy and theory of mind. Both empathy and theory of mind involve an ability to simultaneously distinguish between different possible perspectives on the same situation (Decety and Jackson 2004; Decety and Lamm 2006). A large body of evidence, mainly from functional neuroimaging studies, indicates that the neurobiological underpinnings of these abilities depend upon the coordinated interaction between the brain regions involved in the processing of social cues, particularly the medial prefrontal cortex and the posterior temporal gyrus at the junction with the parietal cortex. Because of its anatomical location, that latter region was termed the temporoparietal junction (TPJ)."