Emergence of the Social Mind: Two Perspectives

  • Shoji Itakura


The concept of the evolution of organisms is indisputable. All organisms, including humans, are products of evolution. Humans are related to other primates and have evolved from earlier hominid species over the past five to seven million years. Therefore, we can postulate that our minds are part of a wider evolutionary pattern discernible from the minds of nonhuman animals. Many psychologists acknowledge the fact that modern evolutionary theory is useful in explaining human behavior and cognition. However, (2001) claimed that this theory has certain shortcomings from the developmental perspective. They pointed out three reasons for this.


Social Cognition Biological Motion Nonhuman Animal Social Contingency False Belief Task 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adolphs R (2006) How do we know the minds of others? Domain-specificity, simulation, and enactive social cognition. Brain Research 1079:25–35PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baron-Cohen S (1995) Mindblindness: An essay on autism and theory of mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  3. Bertenthal BI, Proffitt DR, Cutting JE (1984) Infant sensitivity to figural coherence in biomechanical motions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 37:213–230PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bjorklund DF Pellegrini AD (2001) The origins of human nature. American Psychological Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  5. Crichton M, Lange Kuttner C (1999) Animacy and propulsion in infancy: Tracking, waving and reaching to self-propelled and induced moving objects. Developmental Science 2:318–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Frith U, Frith CD (2003) Development and neurophysiology of mentalizing. In: Frith C Wolpert D (eds), Neuroscience of social cognition. Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  7. Gergely G, Nadasdy Z, Csibra G, Biro S (1995) Taking the intentional stance at 12 months of age. Cognition 56:165–193PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hoehl S, Reid V, Mooney J, Striano T (2007) What are you looking at? Infants’ neural processing of an adult’s object-directed eye gaze. Developmental Science 10:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Legerstee M (1992) A review of the animate-inanimate distinction in infancy. Early Development and Parenting 1:59–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Leslie AM (1987) Pretence and representation: The origins of “theory of mind”. Psychological Review 94:412–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Meltzoff AN (1995) Understanding the intentions of others: Re-enactment of intended acts by 18-month-old children. Developmental Psychology 31:838–850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Okamoto S, Tomonaga M, Ishii K, Kawai N, Tanaka M, Matsuzawa T (2002) An infant chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) follows human gaze. Animal Cognition 5:107–114PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Reid VM, Striano T (2005) Adult gaze influences infant attention and object processing: Implications for cognitive neuroscience. European Journal of Neuroscience 21: 1763–1766PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Repacholi BM, Gopnik A (1997) Early reasoning about desires: Evidence from 14-and 18-month-olds. Developmental Psychology 33:12–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Tomasello M (1999) Social cognition before the revolution. In: Rochat P (eds), Early social cognition. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociationGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shoji Itakura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Graduate School of LettersKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations