Intuitive physics ability in systemizers relies on differential use of the internalizing system and long-term spatial representations

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/310992

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Riekki , T , Salmi , J , Svedholm-Häkkinen , A M & Lindeman , M 2018 , ' Intuitive physics ability in systemizers relies on differential use of the internalizing system and long-term spatial representations ' , Neuropsychologia , vol. 109 , pp. 10-18 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.11.030

Title: Intuitive physics ability in systemizers relies on differential use of the internalizing system and long-term spatial representations
Author: Riekki, Tapani; Salmi, Juha; Svedholm-Häkkinen, Annika M.; Lindeman, Marjaana
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Medicum
University of Helsinki, Department of Psychology and Logopedics
University of Helsinki, Medicum
University of Helsinki, Medicum

Date: 2018-01-31
Language: eng
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Neuropsychologia
ISSN: 0028-3932
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.11.030
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/310992
Abstract: According to the Empathizing-Systemizing theory (E-S Theory), individual differences in how people understand the physical world (systemizing) and the social world (empathizing), are two continuums in the general population with several implications, from vocational interests to skills in the social and physical domains. The underlying mechanisms of intuitive physics performance among individuals with strong systemizing and weak empathizing (systemizers) are, however, unknown. Our results affirm higher intuitive physics skills in healthy adult systemizers (N=36), and further reveal the brain mechanisms that are characteristic for those individuals in carrying out such tasks. When the participants performed intuitive physics tasks during functional magnetic resonance imaging, combined higher systemizing and lower empathizing was associated with stronger activations in parts of the default mode network (DMN, cuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus), middle occipital gyrus, and parahippocampal region. The posterior cingulate gyrus and parahippocampal gyrus were specifically associated with systemizing "brain type" even after controlling for task performance, while especially in the parietal cortex, the activation changes were simply explained by higher task performance. We therefore suggest that utilization of DMN-parahippocampal complex, suggested to play a role in internalizing and activating long-term spatial memory representations, is the factor that distinguishes systemizers from empathizers with the opposite "brain type" in intuitive physics tasks.
Subject: 515 Psychology
intuitive physics
empathizing
Systemizing
empathizing-systemizing theory
fMRI
VISUAL WORKING-MEMORY
MALE BRAIN THEORY
MENTAL ROTATION
PARAHIPPOCAMPAL CORTEX
PSYCHOMETRIC ANALYSIS
task-performance
EPISODIC MEMORY
SEX-DIFFERENCES
AUTISM
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