Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-62969
Herwig, Uwe; Kaffenberger, Tina; Schell, Caroline; Jäncke, Lutz; Bruehl, Annette B (2012). Neural activity associated with self-reflection. BMC Neuroscience, 13(1):52.
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BACKGROUND: Self-referential cognitions are important for self-monitoring and self-regulation. Previous studies have addressed the neural correlates of self-referential processes in response to or related to external stimuli. We here investigated brain activity associated with a short, exclusively mental process of self-reflection in the absence of external stimuli or behavioural requirements. Healthy subjects reflected either on themselves, a personally known or an unknown person during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The reflection period was initialized by a cue and followed by photographs of the respective persons (perception of pictures of oneself or the other person). RESULTS: Self-reflection, compared with reflecting on the other persons and to a major part also compared with perceiving photographs of one-self, was associated with more prominent dorsomedial and lateral prefrontal, insular, anterior and posterior cingulate activations. Whereas some of these areas showed activity in the "other"-conditions as well, self-selective characteristics were revealed in right dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortex for self-reflection; in anterior cingulate cortex for self-perception and in the left inferior parietal lobe for self-reflection and -perception. CONCLUSIONS: Altogether, cingulate, medial and lateral prefrontal, insular and inferior parietal regions show relevance for self-related cognitions, with in part self-specificity in terms of comparison with the known-, unknown- and perception-conditions. Notably, the results are obtained here without behavioural response supporting the reliability of this methodological approach of applying a solely mental intervention. We suggest considering the reported structures when investigating psychopathologically affected self-related processing.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed, original work|
|Communities & Collections:||04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
610 Medicine & health
|Deposited On:||06 Jun 2012 09:42|
|Last Modified:||26 Dec 2013 01:25|
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