The fusiform gyrus and theory of mind: a case study

  • Giulia Maria Tallarita
  • Annalisa Parente
  • Giuseppe Didato
  • Anna Rita GiovagnoliEmail author
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Theory of mind (ToM), an ability to read others’ and one’s own mental states such as intentions, knowledge, feelings, faux pas, irony or lies, is key to the understanding of the interpersonal relationships and to guide social behavior [1]. Structural and functional neuroimaging studies of the brain have shown that ToM is supported by a distributed network including the medial and inferior frontal gyri, ventromedial and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, temporoparietal junction, superior temporal sulcus and precuneus [2]. While disconnection or disruption of brain circuitry could explain ToM impairment, less is known about the role played by focal lesions in strategic brain structures. The fusiform gyrus (FG) is linked to the functionally specialized computations of high-level vision and is active during a wide range of language tasks [3]. It is also associated with the understanding of visual jokes and empathy-related conditions [3], which suggests a link to ToM. This case...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

Study was approved by the Institutional Review Board and the patient gave the informed consents to the clinical work-up of epilepsy including neuropsychological assessment.


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Copyright information

© Belgian Neurological Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Diagnostics and TechnologyFondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo BestaMilanItaly

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