Remediation of Theory of Mind Impairments in Brain-Injured Adults: Kristine Lundgren and Hiram Brownell
Successful communication requires much more than knowledge of word meaning, phonology, and syntax. Consider the following scenario. Sam calls in sick to work in order to attend opening day of the baseball season. The next day, while talking with his colleagues at lunch, Sam says, “I wish I could have gone to the game yesterday, but I was sick in bed all day.” Some of his close friends who know the truth appreciate the humor of Sam’s ironic remark. The colleagues who do not know the truth are deceived by the remark and console the “sick” speaker. The difference between coworkers’ interpretations reecting irony or deception rests on what they know and do not know about Sam’s true state of health. Making sense of alternative interpretations requires appreciation that different people may hold different beliefs about the world, some of which may be false. Theory of Mind (ToM) is the term used to summarize the ability to use other people’s thoughts, beliefs, and emotions to understand and predict their behavior (Dennett, 1978; Leslie, 1987; Premack & Woodruff, 1978).