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Conscious Cogn. 2013 Dec;22(4):1239-52. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.08.013. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Bodily ownership and self-location: components of bodily self-consciousness.

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Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Center for Neuroprosthetics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; Department of Psychology, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:


Recent research on bodily self-consciousness has assumed that it consists of three distinct components: the experience of owning a body (body ownership); the experience of being a body with a given location within the environment (self-location); and the experience of taking a first-person, body-centered, perspective on that environment (perspective). Here we review recent neuroimaging studies suggesting that at least two of these components-body ownership and self-location-are implemented in rather distinct neural substrates, located, respectively, in the premotor cortex and in the temporo-parietal junction. We examine these results and consider them in relation to clinical evidence from patients with altered body perception and work on a variety of multisensory, body-related illusions, such as the rubber hand illusion, the full body illusion, the body swap illusion and the enfacement illusion. We conclude by providing a preliminary synthesis of the data on bodily self-consciousness and its neural correlates.


Bodily self-consciousness; Body ownership; Body representation; Multisensory processing; Self-location

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