Korean J Biol Psychiatry.  2019 Oct;26(2):47-58. 10.0000/kjbp.2019.26.2.47.

Brain Activation Related to Perspective-Taking in Adolescents: Differences from Adults

  • 1Onyourhan Psychiatric Clinic, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea. mammosss@hanmail.net
  • 3Department of Psychology, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Chungbuk National University Hospital, Cheongju, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences between adolescents and adults, in the perspective-taking ability, as well as the brain activation patterns during the perspective-taking situation.
We recruited healthy adolescents aged 13 years to 15 years (n = 20) and adults aged 19 years to 29 years (n = 20). All the subjects were scanned while performing the perspective-taking task, in which an emotional situation was presented in the form of statements comprising first person, as well as third person perspectives. Differences in brain activation between groups were assessed by contrasting neural activity during the tasks.
In the between-group analysis, while performing the third-person perspective-taking task, the adolescent group showed greater neural activities in the middle frontal gyrus and precentral gyrus as compared to the adult group. Positive correlation was observed between the activity in the frontal areas (Brodmann area 6/9) and the score of scales related to perspective-taking and social cognition in the adolescent group.
This study suggests that several frontal brain areas of adolescents needs to be overactivated in order to compensate for low perspective-taking ability when they ought to take another person's point of view.


Adolescence; Social cognition; Perspective-taking; Brain; fMRI
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