Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 189–197 | Cite as

The Neural Correlates of Visual Perspective Taking: a Critical Review

  • Henryk BukowskiEmail author
Genetics and Neuroscience (C O'Tuathaigh, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Genetics and Neuroscience


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 Findings

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.


Visual 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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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Perception, Reasoning, Interaction, and Reasoning Group (SPRING), Psychological Sciences Research InstituteUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-La-NeuveBelgium

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