Theory of Mind, the ability to understand the potential mental states and intentions of others, represents a relevant
aspect of social cognition, with high impact on the capacity to interact within the social world. This very human ability
has been one of the focuses of neuroscience research in the past decades and data from neuroimaging studies allowed
to identify a Theory of Mind network and to formulate a neurobiological model. Concurrent neuropsychiatric studies
showed that Theory of Mind is differently impaired in several conditions, among these, in schizophrenia, a disease characterized
by functional and social disability. This paper addresses the issue of neurofunctional correlates of Theory of Mind
deficits in schizophrenia, reviewing functional imaging studies of the past ten years comparing schizophrenia patients to
healthy controls. Several differences in hemodynamic response between patients and controls were observed in the areas
known to be critically involved in social cognition, such as the medial prefrontal cortex, temporal cortex surrounding superior
temporal sulcus and temporo-parietal junction and cingulate cortex. Results are promising, however they are still
heterogeneous. The reported variability could depend on factors related to the construct of Theory of Mind itself, technical
aspects and psychopathological/physiopathological mechanisms and needs to be further addressed by future studies.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, Psychosis proneness, Theory of Mind, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, temporo-parietal
junction, medial prefrontal cortex.
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