The brooms in fantasia: Neural correlates of anthropomorphizing objects

Lasana T. Harris, Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


People show medial prefrontal cortex and superior temporal sulcus (STS) activation when making dispositional attributions to other people (Harris, Todorov, & Fiske, 2005) under conditions predicted by Kelley's (1972) ANOVA model. Here, participants make dispositional attributions to entire categories of objects under similar conditions; they also show greater activity in STS (implicated in perceiving trajectory) and bilateral amygdala (implicated in vigilance). Initial STS activity is greater to object categories while later amygdala activity is greater to specific objects. Self-reported anthropomorphizing predicts both STS activity to object categories and amygdala activity to specific objects. Anthropomorphizing object categories (versus single objects) resembles dispositional inferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-223
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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