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The Neurobiology of Mentalizing

Fonagy, P; Luyten, P; (2015) The Neurobiology of Mentalizing. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment , 6 (4) pp. 366-379. 10.1037/per0000117. Green open access

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Mentalizing is the capacity to understand ourselves and others in terms of intentional mental states, such as feelings, desires, wishes, attitudes, and goals. It is a fundamental capacity in our complex social environment. This paper reviews our current understanding of the neurobiology of mentalizing. We first summarize the key assumptions of the mentalizing approach to normal and disrupted development. This is followed by discussion of the multiple dimensions of mentalizing and our emerging knowledge of the neural circuits that underlie these dimensions. We then consider the neurobiology of attachment and arousal regulation in relation to mentalizing, and summarize relevant studies in this area. Finally, we discuss the limitations of extant research and outline implications for future research.

Type: Article
Title: The Neurobiology of Mentalizing
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/per0000117
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/per0000117
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 This article may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record
Keywords: Mentalizing, Attachment, Neurobiology, Borderline Personality Disorder
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1461413
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