First Person: Neuro-Cognitive Notes on the Self in Life and in Fiction

PSYART: A Hyperlink Journal for the Psychological Study of the Arts, Article 000619, August 2000

39 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2010

Date Written: August 1, 2000

Abstract

We can think of the self as the result of interaction between subcortical systems for regulating the global brain state and largely cortical systems for representing the current body state and autobiography. The personal pronoun system is at the interface between the cortical and subcortical systems. By constructing a network model for the pronoun system that is grounded in basic machinery for social interaction we show how the pronoun system allows speakers to achieve self-reference and how this capacity engenders the illusion of a unified self. The same model allows us to see that there is no essential difference between reliving incidents from one's own past and giving life to imaginary characters in ritual and in literary works. Such imaginative experience may play a role in maintaining the coherence of the self through different emotions.

Keywords: Self, Person, Identity, Neural, Damasio, Vygotsky, Piaget,Mcculloch, Imitation, Fiction, Autobiography, Dissociative

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L., First Person: Neuro-Cognitive Notes on the Self in Life and in Fiction (August 1, 2000). PSYART: A Hyperlink Journal for the Psychological Study of the Arts, Article 000619, August 2000, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1658976

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
113
Abstract Views
2,150
rank
296,418
PlumX Metrics