We thank the families from the Kingston, Ontario community who graciously volunteered their participation. We also thank Phil Zelazo, Don Tucker, Nathan Fox, and Rebecca Saxe for helpful advice and discussion of the methodology, statistical analyses, and interpretation of the data. This research was supported by a CFI New Opportunities award and NSERC Discovery Grant awarded to Sabbagh, and by NSERC undergraduate summer fellowships awarded to Bowman and Evraire. Bowman is now at University of Michigan, and Evraire is now at University of Western Ontario.
Neurodevelopmental Correlates of Theory of Mind in Preschool Children
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2009, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 80, Issue 4, pages 1147–1162, July/August 2009
How to Cite
Sabbagh, M. A., Bowman, L. C., Evraire, L. E. and Ito, J. M. B. (2009), Neurodevelopmental Correlates of Theory of Mind in Preschool Children. Child Development, 80: 1147–1162. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01322.x
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2009
Baseline electroencephalogram (EEG) data were collected from twenty-nine 4-year-old children who also completed batteries of representational theory-of-mind (RTM) tasks and executive functioning (EF) tasks. Neural sources of children’s EEG alpha (6–9 Hz) were estimated and analyzed to determine whether individual differences in regional EEG alpha activity predicted children’s RTM performance, while statistically controlling for children’s age and EF skills. Results showed that individual differences in EEG alpha activity localized to the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dMPFC) and the right temporal–parietal juncture (rTPJ) were positively associated with children’s RTM performance. These findings suggest that the maturation of dMPFC and rTPJ is a critical constituent of preschoolers’ explicit theory-of-mind development.