ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2012, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (12): 1618-1627.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2012.01618

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  1. (天津师范大学心理与行为研究院, 天津 300074)
  • 收稿日期:2011-12-28 出版日期:2012-12-25 发布日期:2012-12-25
  • 通讯作者: 王益文, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:


ERP Time Course of Understanding Private versus Communicative Intentions

WANG Yi-Wen;HUANG Liang;XU Sheng;YUAN Bo;XU Yan-Jiao;LI Hong-Yu   

  1. (Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China)
  • Received:2011-12-28 Online:2012-12-25 Published:2012-12-25
  • Contact: WANG Yi-Wen

摘要: 已有的意图理解神经成像研究大多关注理解单一个体私人意图的脑功能定位, 而较少涉及两个或更多人的社会性交际意图, 大脑区分私人意图和交际意图的动态时间过程尚不清楚。本研究记录了16名健康被试理解三种不同意图任务时的脑电成分。三种意图分别为: 1)私人意图; 2)交际意图; 3)物理意图。电生理学结果表明在大脑顶区, 私人意图的N250的峰值显著大于交际意图和物理意图。在晚期阶段(300~600 ms), 交际意图的晚期正成分(LPC)的平均波幅要显著大于私人意图和物理意图。在400~600 ms时, 私人意图的LPC的平均波幅要显著大于物理意图。本研究为理解私人意图和交际意图的动态加工过程提供了神经电生理学的初步证据。

关键词: 心理理论, 私人意图, 交际意图, 社会认知, 事件相关电位

Abstract: Theory of mind (ToM) refers to understanding other's mental states, such as beliefs, intentions, emotions, and thoughts, to predict other's behaviors. ToM gradually became one of the areas of much interest among developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The concept of attribution of intentions to others is a central element of ToM. In the daily life, we not only need to understand the private intention of a single person, but also have to understand the communicative intention among two or multiple persons. Understanding the communicative intention is more complex than understanding the private intention. In the current study, the event related potentials (ERPs) technology was employed to explore the dissociative electrophysiological correlates for understanding private versus communicative intention while the subjects observing three types of comic strips: 1) private intention; 2) communicative intention; 3) physical intention. We report the ERP study to investigate the time course of understanding the private intention and understanding the communicative intention. Electrophysiological results showed a significantly larger amplitude peak of N250 over the parietal sites for private intention compared to communicative and physical intentions in the 200-300 ms epoch. At a later stage (i.e., from 300-600 ms), the mean amplitudes of the late positive component (LPC) for communicative intention were more positive than those for the private and physical intentions. Furthermore, the mean amplitudes of the LPC were also significantly larger for private intention compared to the physical intention from 400-600 ms. Our data provide a direct comparison between the electrophysiological correlates for understanding the private intention as well as understanding the communicative intention. Our findings show that understanding the communicative intention overlaps the neural system capable of understanding private intention but requires the involvement of an additional system. Individuals are first able to understand a single person’s intention, and understanding the communicative intention builds on that earlier understanding by involving the same mental-state processing characteristic of understanding private intention plus an additional communicative intention processing system as well. We believe that understanding private intention and understanding the communicative intention are two different levels of ToM. Understanding the private intention is the basis for understanding the communicative intention and the level of understanding the communicative intention is higher than the level of understanding the private intention.

Key words: Theory of mind, private intention, communicative intention, social cognition, ERP