The Neural Correlates of Visual Perspective Taking: a Critical Review
Purpose of Review
Visual perspective taking (VPT) enables us to understand, anticipate, and interact with other social beings by accurately computing how and what they see in their environment. The present review provides an up-to-date review of the neural mechanisms underpinning VPT that integrates all neuroscientific methods and, importantly, organizes studies based on the distinct cognitive dimensions of VPT they measure.
Recent studies are characterized by a greater use of transcranial stimulation and a more diverse use of contrasts in analyses. Recent findings suggest namely that the temporoparietal junction has multiple roles in VPT and that the dorsal posterior precuneus is neither related to the inferential process nor the decentering process of VPT.
By organizing the findings according the respective cognitive processes tapped into, this review sheds a new light on the neural bases of VPT and advocates for an approach that acknowledges the multidimensionality of VPT.
KeywordsVisual perspective taking Spatial perspective taking Visuo-spatial Mentalizing Cognitive empathy Neuroimaging
I wish to thank Colm O’Tuhataigh for the invitation to contribute to CBNR. H.B. is supported by the MOVE-IN Louvain—incoming postdoctoral fellowship co-funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions of the European Commision.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The author declares that there are no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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