Searching for an integrated self-representation

Istvan Molnar-Szakacs*, Shahar Arzy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Recent inquiries into the nature of self-representation have put forward a new and interesting conceptualization of the Self, as a " center of gravity" of one's private and social behavior. We review recent neuroimaging work that has suggested interactions among brain regions comprising the default state network, including medial and temporo-parietal cortical regions and the mirror neuron system including lateral fronto-parietal regions as two interacting neural systems that work in concert to produce a cohesive self-representation through simulation. Simulation processes-broadly construed here as using existing representations as templates for understanding novel information-are instantiated by these brain systems across a wide range of domains including time, space, physical and social, giving rise to the multifaceted Self that we all are. Accumulating evidence also suggests, that these simulation processes are used in a multitude of cognitions that constitute the self, including autobiographical memory and prospection, perspective taking, understanding other's actions and mental states and embodied self-representation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)365-367
Number of pages3
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Autobiographical memory
  • Mental self
  • Mirror neurons
  • Physical self
  • Resting state
  • Temporo-parietal junction
  • Theory of mind


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