Research note: Brain area crucial to ability to assess motives of others
The ability to assess the motivation of others is considered a crucial human ability. Yale neuroscientist Steve Chang and colleagues at Oxford University, Matthew Apps and Matthew Rushworth review neuroimaging and other evidence that the skill arises from activity in a specialized brain region, the anterior cingulate gyrus. This area of the brain has been already linked to social cognition processes such as motivation, decision-making, learning, cost-benefit calculation. The researchers found that the anterior cingulate gyrus is crucial not only in forming our initial assessment of another’s motive but in correcting that assessment when new evidence is presented. The paper is published in the May 18 issue of the journal Neuron.