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Unlocking the BrainVolume 2: Consciousness$
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Georg Northoff

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199826995

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199826995.001.0001

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Resting-State Activity and Self-Specificity

Resting-State Activity and Self-Specificity

(p.250) (p.251) Chapter 23 Resting-State Activity and Self-Specificity
Unlocking the Brain

Georg Northoff

Oxford University Press

How is it possible that our brain can constitute the experience or sense of a self as distinguished from other selves? This is not only central to the question of the neuronal mechanisms underlying the self, but also for consciousness, which is often proposed to be impossible without a self. Recent imaging studies show regions in the midline of the brain to be specifically recruited during stimuli that show high degrees of self-specificity. This especially concerns anterior midline regions like the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Moreover, the results indicate a strong neural overlap of the neural activity elicited by especially high self-specific stimuli with the high resting-state activity and in these regions. Finally, most recent empirical data demonstrate that the resting-state activity in these regions can even predict the degree of self-specificity assigned by the subjects to the stimulus.

Keywords:   self, self-perspectival organization, resting state, stimulus–rest interaction, rest–rest interaction, dreams, self-specificity, threefold anatomical organization, subcortical and cortical midline structures, self-specific organization, phase alignment, stimulus-phase coupling

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