Note to Self

Susanne Quadflieg and C. Neil Macrae

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342161
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Note to Self

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Social Psychology


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This chapter aims to summarize what is currently understood of the neural networks underlying the human experience of being someone. Importantly, given that this experience has many different facets, the neural correlates of a multitude of self-related processes are considered before more general conclusions about the neural self and its potential uniqueness are discussed. The human self comprises a complex collection of components that guide both cognition and behavior. Notwithstanding this complexity, however, we typically experience self as continuous across time and space. Supporting the observation that self is both multifaceted yet unified, recent neuroscientific findings suggest that self-related processing is accomplished by neural networks that are widely distributed in the brain but frequently associated with a common neural signature—activity in the medial prefrontal cortex.

Keywords: neural networks; sense of self; self-recognition; self-related processes

Article.  7679 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Social Psychology

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