Prof. Rebecca R Saxe

John W Jarve (1978) Professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Associate Dean, MIT School of Science
Associate Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research

Primary DLC

Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences

MIT Room: 46-4019


Emily Chen (Lab Manager)

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Social Cognition

Research Summary

In her research, Professor Saxe studies human social cognition, using a combination of behavioral testing and brain imaging technologies. She is best known for her work on brain regions specialized for abstract concepts, such as “theory of mind” tasks that involve understanding the mental states of other people. Her TED Talk, “How we read each other’s minds” has been viewed more than 3 million times. She also studies the development of the human brain during early infancy.

Research includes understanding how the brain gives rise to the mind represents a great scientific challenge, and the answers will not come through any single approach or technique in isolation. A multidisciplinary effort is needed, and research at the McGovern Institute employs the full range of modern neuroscience techniques, from molecular genetics to functional neuroimaging, and computational modeling.

Recent Work