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Mindreading Intro

My topic is mindreading, the process of tracking another’s mental states.
Let me start with a canonical illustration of mindreading in action.

Which box will Maxi look in?


Not Mindreading

Maxi wants his chocolate.

Chocolate is good.

Maxi believes his chocolate is in the blue box.

Maxi’s chocolate is in the red box.



Maxi will look in the blue box.

Maxi will look in the red box.

So where the nonmindreader uses facts to generate predictions about actions, the mindreading attributes beliefs.
In many cases, you will get the same predictions whether you are mindreading or just using facts. But in cases like this, where there are false belief, the predictions can come apart. \textbf{This means that we can detect mindreading by measuring action predictions.}
In what follows I’m going to focus on belief.
The existence of mindreading processes for tracking beliefs raises many questions:
\begin{enumerate} \item Why is belief-tracking in adults sometimes but not always automatic? (or automatic to varying degrees) \item How and why is automatic belief-tracking limited in ways that nonautomatic belief-tracking is not? \item How and why are inhibition, attention and working memory involved in belief-tracking? \item Why is there an age at which children pass some false belief tasks but systematically fail others? \item What feature or features distinguish the tasks these children fail from those they pass? \end{enumerate}
I think there is more than one kind of mindreading process which tracks beliefs. That’s why my title is ...