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Why Do We Understand Other People After the Age of Four?

Why is it that suddenly after reaching the age of four, we start to understand that other people have a thought process and that their view of the world is usually different from our own. Researchers in Leiden and Leipzig have explored how it works. The research was published on March 21 in Nature Communications journal.

The researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have shown how this enormous drastic development takes place. It is because of the formation of a critical fiber connection in the brain. This fiber is called the arcuate fascicle. It establishes a connection between two critical parts of the brain between the age of three and four. It is after the connection of these lobes that we start to understand what the real world is and what the thoughts of others are.

Thus, there is a crucial developmental breakthrough between the age of three and four and this is when we start to attribute thoughts and beliefs. And this is how we develop a certain understanding which is termed as the “Theory of Mind’.


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