Neuroimaging the self?
Document Type:Book Chapter
Topics:Self and Mental State Attribution
Keywords:First-person perspective, Self-related contents, Evaluative processes, Sensori-motor integration.
Deposited by:Dr. Dorothée Legrand
Date of Issue:2007
Title of Book:Sensorimotor foundation of higher cognition
Volume:Attention and performance XXII
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Abstract:This theoretical investigation associated to a critical review of neuroimaging results reveals that processing self-related contents, reading others’ mind and resting state recruit a wide common cortical network (medial prefrontal cortex, precuneux, temporal poles, temporo-parietal junction). On this basis, we conclude that such a network cannot be considered as self-specific. Rather, we propose that the self is primarily characterized by its first-person perspective and functionally determined by self-specifying process. The latter is described as involving sensori-motor integration i.e. the distinction between ex-afference and re-afference, the latter only issuing from the action of the subject. This proposition is compatible with many results of neuroimaging studies of perspective taking which showed increased cerebral blood flow in the somatosensory cortex for first vs. third-person perspective.