Social consciousness

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Experiencing oneself as autonomous agent who interacts with others depends on the cognitive capacities of self-consciousness as awareness of ones own mental states and social consciousness as knowledge of other persons minds. The study of neural correlates of these capacities elicits an impressive overlap with the so-called “default mode of brain function” as a neurobiological universal of mammalian brains. This empirical observation stimulates the speculation that one major cognitive function of the neural default mode is social cognition which conversely implies that humans have a disposition for social cognition that is reflected in this neural default mode.


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