Social Thinking is for Doing: The Posterior Cerebellum Supports Prediction of Social Actions Based on Personality Traits

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Abstract

Can we predict the future by reading others´ minds? This study explores whether attributing others' personality traits facilitate predictions about their future actions and the temporal order of these future actions. Prior evidence demonstrated that the posterior cerebellar Crus is involved in identifying the temporal sequence of social actions and the person's traits they imply. Based on this, we hypothesized that this area might also be recruited in the reverse process, that is, knowledge of another person's personality traits supports predictions of temporal sequences of others' actions. In this study, participants were informed about the trait of a person, and then had to select actions that were consistent with this information and arrange them in the most likely temporal order. As hypothesized, the posterior cerebellar Crus 1 and 2 were strongly activated when compared to a control task which involved only the selection of actions (without temporal ordering) or which depicted non-social objects and their characteristics. Our findings highlight the important function of the posterior cerebellar Crus in the prediction of social action sequences in social understanding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume17
Issue number2
Early online date14 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press.

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