Temporoparietal junction

The temporoparietal junction (TPJ) is an area of the brain where the temporal and parietal lobes meet, at the posterior end of the lateral sulcus (Sylvian fissure). The TPJ incorporates information from the thalamus and the limbic system, as well as from the visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems. The TPJ also integrates information from both the external environment as well as from within the body. The TPJ is responsible for collecting all of this information and then processing it.[1] This area is also known to play a crucial role in self-other distinctions processes and theory of mind (ToM).[2] Furthermore, damage to the TPJ has been implicated in having adverse effects on an individual's ability to make moral decisions and has been known to produce out-of-body experiences (OBEs).[3] Electromagnetic stimulation of the TPJ can also cause these effects.[4] Apart from these diverse roles that the TPJ plays, it is also known for its involvement in a variety of widespread disorders including amnesia, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia.

Temporoparietal junction
Temporo-parietal junction
Side view of the human brain. TPJ is indicated by red circle.
Brain - Lobes - Temporoparietal junction
Side view of the human brain. TPJ is indicated by red circle.
NeuroLex IDnlx_144255
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

Anatomy and function

Temporo-parietal junction animation small
Animation. Both left and right temporoparietal junctions are shown in red.

The brain contains four main lobes: temporal lobe, parietal lobe, frontal lobe and the occipital lobe. The temporoparietal junction lies in the region between the temporal and parietal lobes, near the lateral sulcus (Sylvian fissure). Specifically, it is composed of the inferior parietal lobule and the caudal parts of the superior temporal sulcus.[1] There are two halves to the temporoparietal junction, with each component in their respective hemispheres of the brain. Each half of the TPJ pertains to various aspects of cognitive function. Often, however, the separate halves of the TPJ will work in coordination. The TPJ is mainly involved in information processing and perception.

Right temporoparietal junction

The right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) is involved in the processing of information in terms of the ability of an individual to pay attention. Evidence from neuroimaging studies as well as lesion studies revealed that the rTPJ plays a pivotal role in analyzing signals from self-produced actions as well as with signals from the external environment.[5] For example, an individual with lesions in their rTPJ would more than likely exhibit a sense of hemi-neglect, wherein they would no longer be able to pay attention to anything they observe on the left. So, if someone were to have a lesion in their rTPJ, then over time the awareness of the left limbs may fade without treatment. Visual signals provide the sensory information necessary for the brain to process spatial recognition of the world. When vision is limited, knowledge of existence begins to fade away since as far as the brain is concerned the object does not exist. Furthermore, the rTPJ plays a role in the way individuals observe and process information, thus impacting social interaction. Empathy and sympathy require an individual to simultaneously distinguish between different possible perspectives on the same situation. Imaging studies show that this ability depends upon the coordinated interaction of the rTPJ to identify and process the social cues presented to it.[6] This rapid process allows for an individual to quickly react to situations.

Left temporoparietal junction

The left temporoparietal junction (lTPJ) contains both Wernicke's area and the angular gyrus, both prominent anatomical structures of the brain that are involved in language cognition, processing, and comprehension of both written and spoken language. This is the region of the brain wherein “Mentalese”, a term coined by Steven Pinker to explain the brain's language that translates itself into written and spoken language, is processed. According to Pinker, “knowing a language is knowing how to translate Mentalese into a string of words and vice versa.” The lTPJ succeeds in this matter by taking in observations from external environments, such as conversations, making connections in the brain regarding past memories or incidents and then converting those thoughts and connections to written and spoken language. Pinker explains this in detail in The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. The lTPJ also plays an important role in reasoning of other's beliefs, intentions, and desires.[7] Activation of the lTPJ was observed in patients processing mental states such as beliefs when an fMRI was used on patients as they were asked to make inferences regarding the mental states of others such as lying. This study was further supplemented by a study which identified that lesions to the left TPJ can impair cognitive processes specifically involved in the inference of someone else's belief, intention, or desire. Individuals with lesions in the lTPJ were no longer able to correctly identify when someone was lying or insinuating a false sense of belief or desire.[8] The lTPJ is also involved in the processing of associating and remembering the names of individuals and objects.[9]


The dopaminergic-serotonergic system mediates our ability to distinguish and understand others beliefs as well as predict their behavior in light of that understanding. In certain disorders, involving the dopaminergic-serotonergic system, this mentalizing process is disrupted and part or all of the process is impaired; this includes amnesia and Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia.[1]


Amnesia is a deficit in memory caused by brain damage, disease, or physiological trauma. Amnesia is best understood via Henry Molaison, or patient H.M. Molaison, who suffered from severe epilepsy and eventually had a temporal lobectomy. After surgery, his epilepsy improved but then he had anterograde amnesia, wherein long-term memory formation is inhibited. Short-term memory remained normal except that he could never remember anything that had happened after his surgery for very long. Based on general known roles of the TPJ, it is known that the TPJ is involved in the memory processing system of the body. Studies have also revealed that certain types of epileptic amnesia could be attributed to TPJ. fMRI studies indicated that there was lower activation of the rTPJ in patients with epileptic amnesia.[10] Furthermore, it was noticed the autobiographical memories were affected in these patients. As such, the rTPJ along with the right cerebellum were identified as core components of autobiographical memory.

In terms of treatment, most forms of amnesia fix themselves without actually undergoing treatment.[11] However, options such as cognitive therapy or occupational therapy have proved to help. Therapy will focus on various methods to improve a patient's memory and with repetition over time, a patient's memory as a whole will improve and eventually become close to normal.[12]

Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and is also the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.[13] This disease has no known cure and is a disease that worsens as it progresses and eventually leads to death. Reduced metabolism in the TPJ, along with the superior frontal sulcus, correlates with Alzheimer's patients’ inability to perceive themselves as others do (with a third-person point of view); the discrepancy between a patients’ understanding of their own cognitive impairment and the actual extent of their cognitive impairment increases as metabolism in the TPJ decreases.[14] Additionally, the TPJ contains the praxicon, a dictionary of representations of different human actions, which is necessary to distinguishing between actions of the self and other people. Because Alzheimer's patients, as well as patients with other forms of dementia, with anosognosia are unable to distinguish between the normal actions of other people and their own diminished abilities, it is expected that there must be damage to the TPJ that is arresting this cognitive function.[14]

In terms of treatment options for managing the symptoms of Alzheimer's, current options include pharmaceuticals, psychosocial intervention, caregiving, and feeding tubes. Current pharmaceuticals are either acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or an NMDA receptor antagonist. Psychosocial interventions are used to supplement pharmaceutical usage as it can take some time to get used to. Since Alzheimer's disease does eventually lead to death with the condition worsening over time, all family members can really do is provide care for those afflicted and try to make their lives as easy as possible as the situation worsens.

Autism spectrum disorder

There is a connection between the temporoparietal junction and the ability to recognize socially awkward situations in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Both neurotypical and autism spectrum disorder participants were asked to watch socially awkward situations (a full-length episode of the sitcom The Office) under an fMRI which measured their brain activity. During this experiment several brain regions should be activated which involve social cognition and perception such as superior temporal gyrus, frontal gyrus, temporoparietal junction, parietal lobe, and amygdala. However, participants with autism spectrum disorder displayed a difference in activation when compared to the neurotypical individuals in their temporoparietal junction during the fMRI. Thus, participants with autism spectrum disorder have a hard time identifying socially awkward situations since the temporoparietal junctions plays a role in social cognition and perception. [15] Recently, an analysis of a huge multi-centre dataset confirmed significant differences at this and other locations .[16]


The decreased ability for schizophrenia patients to function in social situations has been related to a deficit within the theory of mind process.[17] There have been relatively few studies that have examined the role of theory of mind in schizophrenia patients; the findings of these studies as they relate to the activation of the TPJ are varied. Some studies have found decreased activation of the TPJ in schizophrenia patients who were asked to make inferences about other peoples' social intentions based on cartoons; other studies, however, performed similar assessments of schizophrenia patients and found that the TPJ actually became hyperactive, compared to control individuals without schizophrenia, in the TPJ.[18] This indicates that there is abnormal activation of the TPJ in these patients while performing tasks that involving understanding social intention of others, but the directionality of this abnormal activity is not clear, or possibly not universal throughout schizophrenia patients. It was found that the changes in activation in the TPJ were lateralized; they found that there was reduced activity in only the right TPJ and proposed that based on previous research about the different roles of the right and left TPJ the findings indicated that there was a more general deficit in the overall mentalizing process for these patients, but their ability to understand other individuals' basic social intentions through observing interaction is not impaired.[17]

A study found that there was a connection between the auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia and the TPJ; the TPJ has been determined as a critical node in the auditory-verbal hallucination system.[19] This study found that there was a significant decrease in the connectivity between the left TPJ and the right hemispheric homotope of the Broca's area, which is related to the production of language that is also characteristic of AVH events.[19] This aspect of impairment seen in schizophrenia patients may also be related to the involvement of the TPJ with producing out of body experiences.

Anxiety Disorders

A recent study showed reduced activity in the TPJ of adolescents compared to adults during an extinction task, suggesting a role for the TPJ in anxiety disorders.[20]

Future of possible treatments

Vasopressin is a neuropeptide that is involved in regulating social behaviors, including social memory and recognition.[21] One study examined the connection between vasopressin and cortical areas that are involved in processing social interactions including the TPJ. This study looked specifically at the brain regions that were active in men who were given vasopressin and tested based on familiarity related tasks.[21] They found that the introduction of vasopressin caused a localized specific change in social recognition-related activity in the left TPJ/Brodmann area 39; the presence of vasopressin diminishes the heightened activity in the left TPJ that is present upon exposure to an unfamiliar social stimulus indicating that the presence of vasopressin leads individuals to associate an unfamiliar face with a familiar category more readily. While recognizing that this is the first study that has looked into this connection, the authors propose that it has potential to lead into further research about regulating the TPJ with vasopressin or a similar compound, which could allow pharmacologists to target this area of the brain and help with certain disorders including autism, social anxiety disorder.[21] Perhaps such an approach could also be used to treat certain symptoms of schizophrenia or other disorders with know social cognitive impairments.

Current research

Current research involving the TPJ is extensive, ranging from issues of physiology to issues of mental state. A wide range of cognitive processes rely on the TPJ and as such gaining information about it is crucial. Research is conducted by studying the role TPJ plays both with and without lesions when stimulated. Research concerns various issues such as theory of mind, out-of-body experiences, temporal order judgments, morality, etc. This is a growing field due to the prevalence of ailments that involve TPJ as well as because of the importance of perception in everyday life.

Theory of mind

Theory of mind requires the collaboration of functionally related regions of the brain to form the distinction between self and other mental states and to create a comprehensive understanding of those mental states so that we may recognize, understand, and predict behavior.[1] In general the theory of mind process is mediated by the dopaminergic-serotonergic system, which involves the TPJ as well as other associative regions necessary for mentalizing.[1] Recent studies suggest that both the left TPJ, working in conjunction with the frontal cortex, and the right TPJ are involved in the representation of mental states; furthermore they suggest that the TPJ is particularly active in making the distinction between the mental states of self and others. A study in Nature Neuroscience from 2004 describes how the TPJ is involved in processing socially relevant cues including gaze direction and goal-directed action and also explains that results from the study show that lesions to this area of the brain result in an impaired ability to detect another persons belief.[8] Moreover, studies have reported an increase in activity in the TPJ when patients are absorbing information through reading or images regarding other peoples' beliefs but not while observing information about physical control stimuli.[2] Some studies, however, have shown that the TPJ, along with the cingulate cortex, is more specifically involved with attributing beliefs, but the process of mentalizing more generally is associated more with the medial prefrontal cortex.[18] Another study in Current Biology from 2012 identifies the importance of the TPJ in both low-level, such as simple discrimination, and high-level, such as the ability to empathize, sociocognitive operations.[22] In July 2011, a review from Neuropsychologia presented a model of the mentalizing network that established that mental states are first detected in the TPJ.[1] The TPJ is composed of two discrete anatomical regions, the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and the caudal parts of the superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), and both are active in the process of distinction between mental states of different individuals; thus, it is probable that this detection is the outcome of the combination and coordination of these two parts.[1] Additionally, the right TPJ is involved in the ventral attention stream and contributes to the ability to focus attention on a particular stimuli or objective. It has also been observed that the interaction and communication between the dorsal and ventral streams involves the TPJ.[1]

Out-of-body experiences

The TPJ is also a crucial structure for self-processing.[23] Several neuro-imaging studies have shown an activation of the TPJ during different aspects of self-processing such as visuo-spatial perspective, self-other distinction, mental own body imagery, and vestibular and multi sensory integration.[24] Damage in the TPJ has been linked to out-of-body experiences (OBEs), the feeling that one's self is located outside one's physical body.[25]

An OBE is defined by the presence of three characteristics: disembodiment, the impression of seeing the world from a distant and elevated visuo-spatial perspective, and the impression of seeing one's own body from this elevated perspective.[26] OBEs mostly occur to people with epilepsy or migraines, but approximately 10% of the healthy population also experience OBEs once or twice in a lifetime.[27] They usually occur spontaneously and are of short duration, making OBEs hard to study. Here is an example of a patient describing what he or she experienced during an OBE:

“I was in bed and about to fall asleep when I had the distinct impression that “I” was at the ceiling level looking down at my body in the bed. I was very startled and frightened; immediately [afterward] I felt that, I was consciously back in the bed again.”[3]

It is suggested that OBEs are caused by multi-sensory disintegration in the TPJ disrupting different aspects of self-processing such as illusory reduplication, illusory self-location, and illusory perspective.[3] The brain integrates different sensory inputs to create a representation of one’s body and its location in its surrounding. Some inhibition of discrepant inputs is required to have coherency, but in some cases, those discrepant inputs are so strong and come from more than one sensory source that it leads to two different representations of one’s own body.[27] This multi-sensory disintegration at the TPJ leads to OBEs. An electromagnetic stimulation to the right TPJ of an patient with epilepsy induced an OBE.[28] The author also states that these experiences are closely related to schizophrenia and phantom limb.

Temporal order judgement

Temporal order is the arrangement of events in time. By judging this, one can understand how we process things. Temporal order judgments require an individual to determine the relative timing between two spatially separate events. One study revealed that subjects had to determine the order of appearance of two objects as well as which object fit a certain property better. What was learned from this study was that when identifying the order or appearance, fMRI studies showed that there was bilateral activation of the TPJ. Meanwhile, when it comes to object characterization based on a property, it was noticed that there was only activation of the lTPJ. As such, it is evident that TPJ is involved in the “when” pathway of the brain.[29]


Morality is the differentiation in intention between choosing between what is good and what is bad. Connections made at the TPJ help an individual understand their emotions and make decisions based on them. The TPJ allows the association of emotions to events or individuals, aiding in the decision making process. However, errors in this emotional processing can arise when patients have lesions in the TPJ or when the brain is electrically stimulated. transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be used to disrupt neural activity in the rTPJ right before a patient had to make a moral decision as well as during the decision making process, constituting to two different testing environments. Then, when presented with a moral dilemma, patients’ ability to make morally sound decisions was deterred. TMS to the rTJ affects the ability of an individual to use mental states to make moral decisions.[30] Studies also show that there is a relation between theory of mind and moral judgment, once again signifying the role of the rTPJ in morality.[31][32]

See also


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Autoscopy is the experience in which an individual perceives the surrounding environment from a different perspective, from a position outside of his or her own body. Autoscopy comes from the ancient Greek αὐτός ("self") and σκοπός ("watcher").

Autoscopy has been of interest to humankind from time immemorial and is abundant in the folklore, mythology, and spiritual narratives of most ancient and modern societies. Cases of autoscopy are commonly encountered in modern psychiatric practice. According to neurological research, autoscopic experiences are hallucinations.

Biological motion

Biological motion is motion that comes from actions of a biological organism. Humans and animals are able to understand those actions through experience, identification, and higher level neural processing. Humans use biological motion to identify and understand familiar actions, which is involved in the neural processes for empathy, communication, and understanding other's intentions. The neural network for biological motion is highly sensitive to the observer's prior experience with the action's biological motions, allowing for embodied learning. This is related to a research field that is broadly known as embodied cognitive science, along with research on mirror neurons.

For instance, a well known example of sensitiveness to a specific type of biological motion is expert dancers observing others dancing. Compared to people who do not know how to dance, expert dancers show more sensitiveness to the biological motion from the dance style of their expertise. The same expert dancer would also show similar but less sensitiveness to dance styles outside of their expertise. The differences in perception of dance motions suggests that the ability to perceive and understand biological motion is strongly influenced by the observer's experience with the action. A similar expertise effect has been observed in different types of action, such as music making, language, scientific thinking, basketball, and walking.


Blame is the act of censuring, holding responsible, making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible, the opposite of praise. When someone is morally responsible for doing something wrong their action is blameworthy. By contrast, when someone is morally responsible for doing something right, we may say that his or her action is praiseworthy. There are other senses of praise and blame that are not ethically relevant. One may praise someone's good dress sense, and blame their own sense of style for their own dress sense.

Claus Lamm

Claus Lamm (born in 1973 in Lustenau, Austria) is a Professor of Biological Psychology and the head of the Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit at the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Vienna. His research focuses on the psychological and biological mechanisms underlying social cognition, affect, and behavior. His main research interest are the neural underpinnings of empathy, to whose understanding he has made pioneering contributions.

Conduction aphasia

Conduction aphasia, also called associative aphasia, is a relatively rare form of aphasia. An acquired language disorder, it is characterized by intact auditory comprehension, fluent (yet paraphasic) speech production, but poor speech repetition. They are fully capable of understanding what they are hearing, but fail to encode phonological information for production. This deficit is load-sensitive as patients show significant difficulty repeating phrases, particularly as the phrases increase in length and complexity and as they stumble over words they are attempting to pronounce. Patients will display frequent errors during spontaneous speech, such as substituting or transposing sounds. They will also be aware of their errors, and will show significant difficulty correcting them. For example: "Clinician: Now, I want you to say some words after me. Say ‘boy’. Patient: Boy. Clinician: Home. Patient: Home. Clinician: Seventy-nine. Patient: Ninety-seven. No … sevinty-sine … siventy-nice…. Clinician: Let’s try another one. Say ‘refrigerator’. Patient: Frigilator … no? how about … frerigilator … no frigaliterlater … aahh! It’s all mixed up!" Shallice and Warrington (1970) were able to differentiate two variants of

this constellation: the reproduction and the repetition type. These authors suggested an exclusive deficit of auditory-verbal short-term memory in repetition conduction aphasia whereas the other variant was assumed to reflect disrupted phonological encoding mechanism, afflicting confrontation tasks such as repetition, reading and naming in a similar manner.Left-hemisphere damage involving auditory regions often result in speech deficits. Lesions in this area that damage the sensorimotor dorsal stream suggest that the sensory system aid in motor speech. Studies have suggested that conduction aphasia is a result of damage specifically to the left superior temporal gyrus and/or the left supra marginal gyrus. The classical explanation for conduction aphasia is that of a disconnection between the brain areas responsible for speech comprehension (Wernicke's area) and speech production (Broca's area), due specifically to damage to the arcuate fasciculus, a deep white matter tract. Patients are still able to comprehend speech because the lesion does not disrupt the ventral stream pathway.

Default mode network

In neuroscience, the default mode network (DMN), also default network, or default state network, is a large scale brain network of interacting brain regions known to have activity highly correlated with each other and distinct from other networks in the brain.It was initially assumed that the default mode network was most commonly active when a person is not focused on the outside world and the brain is at wakeful rest, such as during daydreaming and mind-wandering. However, it is now known that it can contribute to elements of experience that are related to external task performance. It is also active when the individual is thinking about others, thinking about themselves, remembering the past, and planning for the future. Though the DMN was originally noticed to be deactivated in certain goal-oriented tasks and is sometimes referred to as the task-negative network, it can be active in other goal-oriented tasks such as social working memory or autobiographical tasks. The DMN has been shown to be negatively correlated with other networks in the brain such as attention networks.Evidence has pointed to disruptions in the DMN of people with Alzheimer's and autism spectrum disorder.

Emotional isolation

Emotional isolation is a state of isolation where one may have a well-functioning social network but still feels emotionally separated from others.

Population-based research indicates that one in five middle-aged and elderly men (50–80 years) in Sweden are emotionally isolated (defined as having no one in whom one can confide). Of those who do have someone in whom they can confide, eight out of ten confide only in their partner. People who have no one in whom they can confide are less likely to feel alert and strong, calm, energetic and happy. Instead, they are more likely to feel depressed, sad, tired and worn out. Many people suffering from this kind of isolation have strong social networks, but lack a significant bond with their friends. While they can build superficial friendships, they are often not able to confide in many people. People who are isolated emotionally usually feel lonely and unable to relate to others.

Inferior frontal gyrus

The inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), (gyrus frontalis inferior), is the lowest positioned gyrus of the frontal gyri, of the frontal lobe, and is part of the prefrontal cortex.

Its superior border is the inferior frontal sulcus (which divides it from the middle frontal gyrus), its inferior border is the lateral sulcus (which divides it from the superior temporal gyrus) and its posterior border is the inferior precentral sulcus. Above it is the middle frontal gyrus, behind it is the precentral gyrus.The inferior frontal gyrus is the location of Broca's area involved in language processing and speech production.

Neural basis of self

The neural basis of self is the idea of using modern concepts of neuroscience to describe and understand the biological processes that underlie human's perception of self-understanding. The neural basis of self is closely related to the psychology of self with a deeper foundation in neurobiology.

Out-of-body experience

An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is an experience in which a person seems to perceive the world from a location outside their physical body. An OBE is a form of autoscopy (literally "seeing self"), although the term autoscopy more commonly refers to the pathological condition of seeing a second self, or doppelgänger.

The term out-of-body experience was introduced in 1943 by G. N. M. Tyrrell in his book Apparitions, and was adopted by researchers such as Celia Green and Robert Monroe as an alternative to belief-centric labels such as "astral projection" or "spirit walking". OBEs can be induced by traumatic brain injuries, sensory deprivation, near-death experiences, dissociative and psychedelic drugs, dehydration, sleep disorders and dreaming and electrical stimulation of the brain, among others. It can also be deliberately induced by some. One in ten people have an OBE once, or more commonly, several times in their life.Neuroscientists and psychologists regard OBEs as dissociative experiences arising from different psychological and neurological factors.

Posterior parietal cortex

The posterior parietal cortex (the portion of parietal neocortex posterior to the primary somatosensory cortex) plays an important role in planned movements, spatial reasoning, and attention.

Damage to the posterior parietal cortex can produce a variety of sensorimotor deficits, including deficits in the perception and memory of spatial relationships, inaccurate reaching and grasping, in the control of eye movement, and inattention. The two most striking consequences of PPC damage are apraxia and hemispatial neglect.

Rebecca Saxe

Rebecca Saxe is a professor of cognitive neuroscience and associate department head at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. She is an associate member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and a board member of the Center for Open Science. She is known for her research on the neural basis of social cognition. She received her BA from Oxford University where she studied Psychology and Philosophy, and her PhD from MIT in Cognitive Science. She is the granddaughter of Canadian coroner and politician Morton Shulman.

Relative direction

The most common relative directions are left, right, forward(s), backward(s), up, and down. No absolute direction corresponds to any of the relative directions. This is a consequence of the translational invariance of the laws of physics: nature, loosely speaking, behaves the same no matter what direction one moves. As demonstrated by the Michelson-Morley null result, there is no absolute inertial frame of reference. There are definite relationships between the relative directions, however. Left and right, forward and backward, and up and down are three pairs of complementary directions, each pair orthogonal to both of the others. Relative directions are also known as egocentric coordinates.

Sense of agency

The sense of agency (SA), or sense of control, is the subjective awareness of initiating, executing, and controlling one's own volitional actions in the world. It is the pre-reflective awareness or implicit sense that it is I who is executing bodily movement(s) or thinking thoughts. In normal, non-pathological experience, the SA is tightly integrated with one's "sense of ownership" (SO), which is the pre-reflective awareness or implicit sense that one is the owner of an action, movement or thought. If someone else were to move your arm (while you remained passive) you would certainly have sensed that it were your arm that moved and thus a sense of ownership (SO) for that movement. However, you would not have felt that you were the author of the movement; you would not have a sense of agency (SA).Normally SA and SO are tightly integrated, such that while typing one has an enduring, embodied, and tacit sense that "my own fingers are doing the moving" (SO) and that "the typing movements are controlled (or volitionally directed) by me" (SA). In patients suffering from certain forms of pathological experience (i.e., schizophrenia) the integration of SA and SO may become disrupted in some manner. In this case, movements may be executed or thoughts made manifest, for which the schizophrenic patient has a sense of ownership, but not a sense of agency.Regarding SA for both motor movements and thoughts, further distinctions may be found in both first-order (immediate, pre-reflective) experience and higher-order (reflective or introspective) consciousness. For example, while typing I have a sense of control and thus SA for the ongoing action of typing; this is an example of SA in first-order experience which is immediate and prior to any explicit intellectual reflection upon the typing actions themselves. In this case, I am not focusing on the typing movements per se but rather, I am involved with the task at hand. If I'm subsequently asked if I just performed the action of typing, I can correctly attribute agency to myself. This is an example of a higher-order, reflective, conscious "attribution" of agency, which is a derivative notion stemming from the immediate, pre-reflective "sense" of agency.

Social cognitive neuroscience

Social cognitive neuroscience is the scientific study of the biological processes underpinning social cognition. Specifically, it uses the tools of neuroscience to study "the mental mechanisms that create, frame, regulate, and respond to our experience of the social world". Social cognitive neuroscience uses the epistemological foundations of cognitive neuroscience, and is closely related to social neuroscience. Social cognitive neuroscience employs human neuroimaging, typically using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Human brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct-current stimulation are also used. In nonhuman animals, direct electrophysiological recordings and electrical stimulation of single cells and neuronal populations are utilized for investigating lower-level social cognitive processes.


Somatoparaphrenia is a type of monothematic delusion where one denies ownership of a limb or an entire side of one's body. Even if provided with undeniable proof that the limb belongs to and is attached to their own body, the patient produces elaborate confabulations about whose limb it really is or how the limb ended up on their body. In some cases, delusions become so elaborate that a limb may be treated and cared for as if it were a separate being.Somatoparaphrenia differs from a similar disorder, asomatognosia, which is characterized as loss of recognition of half of the body or a limb, possibly due to paralysis or unilateral neglect. For example, asomatognosic patients may mistake their arm for the doctor's. However, they can be shown their limb and this error is temporarily corrected.Somatoparaphrenia has been reported to occur predominately in the left arm of one's body, and it is often accompanied by left-sided paralysis and anosognosia (denial or lack of awareness) of the paralysis. The link between somatoparaphrenia and paralysis has been documented in many clinical cases, and while the question arises as to whether paralysis is necessary for somatoparaphrenia to occur, anosognosia is not, as documented by cases with somatoparaphrenia and paralysis with no anosognosia.


TPJ may refer to:

The PracTeX Journal, an online journal focussing on practical use of the TeX typesetting system

The Perl Journal, a former journal which focused on the Perl programming language.

Tapieté, an indigenous language of Argentina (ISO 639 code tpj).

Temporoparietal junction, a region of brain where the temporal and parietal lobes meet.

Texans for Public Justice, a non-profit group.

Tiruchirappalli Junction railway station (station code TPJ).

Tiruchirappalli Railway Division, a division of Southern Railway Zone of India (reporting mark) .

Triple Plate Junction PLC, a gold mining and exploration company involved in the reverse takeover of Namesco.

Tak and the Power of Juju, children's TV series and video game.

Tevita Pangai Jr, rugby league player for the Brisbane Broncos.

Theory of mind

Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states — beliefs, intents, desires, emotions, knowledge, etc. — to oneself, and to others, and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one's own. Theory of mind is crucial for everyday human social interactions and is used when analyzing, judging, and inferring others' behaviors. Deficits can occur in people with autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cocaine addiction, and brain damage suffered from alcohol's neurotoxicity. Although philosophical approaches to this exist, the theory of mind as such is distinct from the philosophy of mind.

Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), part of the prefrontal cortex, is located on the inferior frontal gyrus, is bounded superiorly by the inferior frontal sulcus and inferiorly by the lateral sulcus, being attributed to the anatomical structures of Brodmann's area (BA) 47, 45 and 44 (considered the subregions of the VLPFC – the anterior, mid and posterior subregions). Specific functional distinctions have been presented between these three subregions. There are also specific functional differences in activity in the right and left VLPFC. Neuroimaging studies employing various cognitive tasks have shown that right VLPFC region is a critical substrate of control. At present, two prominent theories feature right VLPFC as a key functional region. From one perspective, right VLPFC is thought to play a critical role in motor inhibition, where control is engaged to stop or override motor responses. Alternatively, Corbetta and Shulman have advanced the hypothesis that there are two distinct fronto-parietal networks involved in spatial attention, with right VLPFC being a component of a right-lateralized ventral attention network that governs reflexive reorienting. From this perspective, right lateral PFC, along with a region spanning right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and the inferior parietal lobule, are engaged when abrupt onsets occur in the environment, suggesting that these regions are involved in re-orienting attention to perceptual events that occur outside the current focus of attention.

Also, VLPFC is the end point of the Ventral Pathway (Stream) that brings information about the stimuli's characteristics. Meaning its the part of the brain that makes you, you. Although the ventrolateral frontal cortex isnt fully developed durning pregnancy.

Anatomy of the cerebral cortex of the human brain
Frontal lobe
Parietal lobe
Occipital lobe
Temporal lobe
Limbic lobe
Insular cortex


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