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Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2008 Sep;3(3):218-23. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsn014.

The self across the senses: an fMRI study of self-face and self-voice recognition.

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  • 1Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


There is evidence that the right hemisphere is involved in processing self-related stimuli. Previous brain imaging research has found a network of right-lateralized brain regions that preferentially respond to seeing one's own face rather than a familiar other. Given that the self is an abstract multimodal concept, we tested whether these brain regions would also discriminate the sound of one's own voice compared to a friend's voice. Participants were shown photographs of their own face and friend's face, and also listened to recordings of their own voice and a friend's voice during fMRI scanning. Consistent with previous studies, seeing one's own face activated regions in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), inferior parietal lobe and inferior occipital cortex in the right hemisphere. In addition, listening to one's voice also showed increased activity in the right IFG. These data suggest that the right IFG is concerned with processing self-related stimuli across multiple sensory modalities and that it may contribute to an abstract self-representation.

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