Consciousness, Memory, and the Human Self: Commentary on "Consciousness as a Memory System" by Budson et al (2022)

Amnon Dafni-Merom*, Shahar Arzy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Philosophical theories have attempted to shed light on the intricate relationships between consciousness and memory since long before this became a major theme in psychology and neuroscience. In the December 2022 issue of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Budson, Richman, and Kensinger (2022) introduced a comprehensive theoretical framework pertaining to the origins of consciousness in relation to the memory system, its implications on our real-time perception of the world, and the neuroanatomical correlates underlying these phenomena. Throughout their paper, Budson et al (2022) focus on their theory's explanatory value regarding several clinical syndromes and experimental findings. In this commentary, we first summarize the theory presented by Budson and colleagues (2022). Then, we suggest a complementary approach of studying the relationships between consciousness and memory through the concept of the human self and its protracted representation through time (so-called mental time travel). Finally, we elaborate on Budson and colleagues' (2022) neuroanatomical explanation to their theory and suggest that adding the concepts of brain networks and cortical gradients may contribute to their theory's interpretability.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)48-53
Number of pages6
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • autonoetic consciousness
  • consciousness
  • episodic memory
  • extended self
  • memory
  • mental time travel
  • self


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