How is this possible? And can neuroscience guide us in arriving at the right answers?
I contributed a book chapter to an edited volume Neuroscience in Intercultural Contexts that was published towards the end of 2015. In it, I explore factors that facilitate our understanding of the reality/fiction distinction on the basis of neuroscientific investigations of this question. I particularly focus on the dominant role played by the factor of personal significance/relevance in social contexts in bringing about this implicit knowledge.
The chapter largely derives from some of my previous work:
1. Abraham A, von Cramon DY & Schubotz RI (2008). Meeting George Bush versus meeting Cinderella: The neural response when telling apart what is real from what is fictional in the context of our reality. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20 (6), 965-976.
2. Abraham A & von Cramon DY (2009) Reality = Relevance? Insights from spontaneous modulations of the brain’s default network when telling apart reality from fiction. PLoS ONE, 4(3), e4741: 1-9.
3. Abraham A (2013). The world according to me: Personal relevance and the medial prefrontal cortex. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 341: 1-4.
I have also explored related issues in external blogposts following the Salzburg 547 session on "The Neuroscience of Art: What are the the Sources of Creativity and Innovation?" in February 2015.
1. The Four Walls of an Empiricist
2. The Meandering Imagination