Theory of mind
How do children begin to understand that different people may have different knowledge than they themselves? In case we are able to make inferences about others' beliefs, intentions and knowledge, how does it help us to understand the behavior of others, or even to collaborate successfully with peers?
Did you understand it the same way as I did?
In recent years, there have been several experimental findings suggesting the early existence of high-level cognitive functions. These include understanding others’ beliefs (also known as theory of mind) as early as 7 months of age, or the brain wave called N400 at 9 months of age, which indicates word processing. In our current research, during which babies witness a puppet show-like scenario, we use a special instrument, which measures the weak brain signals of babies, to explore the relationship that may exist between language and the development of theory of mind. Our preliminary experimental results suggest that in the presence of another person, even in the case of 14-month-old babies, a brain activation is apparent that suggests that they are processing speech from the other person’s point of view. Although the results are very promising, further thorough investigation is required. We are doing these experiments at present. (Fall 2019)