Seeing the Power of the Human Mind

Rebecca Saxe speaks at Smithsonian magazine's 2015 Future Is Here Festival (10:17)

Associate professor of cognitive neuroscience in the department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, Rebecca Saxe is also an associate member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. She is known for her research on the neural basis of social cognition. She demonstrated that a brain region known as the right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) is specifically activated by ‘theory of mind’ tasks that require understanding the mental states of other people. She continues to study this brain region and also studies the plasticity of the cortex and the neural substrates of empathy and group conflict.