How We Read Each Other’s Minds

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Sensing the motives and feelings of others is a natural talent for humans. But how do we do it? Here, Rebecca Saxe shares fascinating lab work that uncovers how the brain thinks about other peoples’ thoughts — and judges their actions.

Rebecca Saxe

Rebecca Saxe studies how we think about other people’s thoughts. At the Saxelab at MIT, she uses fMRI to identify what happens in our brains when we consider the motives, passions and beliefs of others. While still a graduate student, Rebecca Saxe made a breakthrough discovery: There’s a specific region in our brain that becomes active when we contemplate the workings of other minds. Now, at MIT’s Saxelab, she and her team have been further exploring her grad-school finding, exploring how it may help us understand conditions such as autism. As Saxe delves into the complexities of social cognition, this young scientist is working toward revealing the enigma of human minds interacting.

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