Chapter 5

The Social Brain

Much of the same machinery, the same brain regions and computational processing that are used in a social context to attribute awareness to someone else, are also used on a continuous basis to construct your own awareness and attribute it to yourself.


Have you ever found yourself talking to an inanimate object? Perhaps getting angry at your car, or encouraging it through snow, almost like the Little Engine that Could? Anybody who has children has likely seen them treat their stuffed animals as if they were alive, or, even more dramatically, create an imaginary friend out of thin air. Why would we talk to inanimate objects or imaginary ones as if they were alive?

In the 2000 movie Cast Away

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