Contemporary discussions on relations between metacognition and mindreading result in several theoretical accounts allowing various combinations of both mechanisms in the process of formation of beliefs, intentions, and decisions with respect to oneself or others. In fact, various prefrontal areas of the brain are activated when individuals mentalize about themselves and about other people. Interestingly, the latest accounts of the relationship between mindreading and metacognition clearly favor arguments for interactionism between functionally different mechanisms in the formation of our social knowledge. In particular, a two-level architecture enables a mutual interaction within a complex metacognitive system that is evolutionarily structured into higher and lower level metacognition with different functions and tasks. In our opinion, cognitive architecture of such systems needs to include conscious mechanisms that incorporate information accessibility as activation through the interaction. Here, we will argue that the combination of the two-level account on mindreading and metacognition along with a global broadcasting architecture embedded in the human brain is a good starting point that explains formation of accurate social knowledge and access to such knowledge. In our opinion, it becomes clear that consciousness via the interaction activates many unconscious brain regions, including interpreter systems such as metacognition and mindreading.
Part of the book: Prefrontal Cortex