A specific brain structural basis for individual differences in reality monitoring

Cullen, J., Buda, M., Darby, G., & Simons, J.S. (2011). Psychiatria Danubina, 23, S182-186.

It has recently been suggested that memory and theory of mind may share the characteristic of mentally projecting oneself into another time or place to imagine alternative perspectives. This study examines this possible relationship by investigating individual differences in performance on a reality monitoring task and two mentalising tasks: the faux pas task and the reading the mind in the eyes test. Consistent with recent functional neuroimaging studies that have observed activity during reality monitoring tasks in the same region of prefrontal cortex that was activated in previous mentalising studies, a significant positive correlation in performance was observed between memory for agency and faux-pas recognition. No correlation between memory and performance on the reading the mind in the eyes test was observed. The significance of these findings is discussed with respect to the suggestion that memory and theory of mind rely on a common set of processes.