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Trends Cogn Sci. 2004 Mar;8(3):102-7.

Cortical midline structures and the self.

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Laboratory for Magnetic Brain Stimulation, Division of Behavioral Neurology, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


For a long time philosophers and psychologists have been intrigued by the question of the self. More recently, this has become a topic of discussion in neuroscience. In this article, we suggest that the processing of self-referential stimuli in cortical midline structures (CMS) is a fundamental component in generating a model of the self. Drawing from neuroimaging studies, we distinguish between representation, monitoring, evaluation and integration of self-referential stimuli. All of these subfunctions are related to distinct regions within the CMS. This relationship between self-referential processing and CMS might provide novel insight into the neural correlates underlying the constitution of the self.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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