Skip to main content
  • Oral presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Brain correlates of the embodied self: neurology and cognitive neuroscience

Although most humans have never had any trouble localizing themselves within their own bodily borders, this sense of self location or embodiment is a fundamental aspect of self consciousness and requires specific brain mechanisms. Recent clinical and neuroimaging evidence suggests that multisensory integration of bodily and two.

Posterior brain regions, the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and cortex at/near the extrastriate body area (EBA) are crucial in coding embodiment.

In this seminar I will review three lines of research investigating brain correlates of embodiment. (1) Pathological states of embodiment (such as out-of-body experience and autoscopy) due to focal brain damage to temporo-parietal cortex and extrastriate cortex in neurological patients. (2) Recent findings on activations of the temporo-pariatal cortex and extrastriate cortex in embodiment-related tasks using mental imagery in healthy subjects. (3) The experimental induction of disembodiment in healthy subjects using multisensory conflict and virtual reality.

I argue that these clinical and experimental findings on embodiment might turn out to be of relevance in defining functions and brain structures mediating fundamental aspects of self consciousness.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Blanke, O. Brain correlates of the embodied self: neurology and cognitive neuroscience. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S92 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: