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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Brain correlates of the embodied self: neurology and cognitive neuroscience

  • 1, 2
Annals of General Psychiatry20087 (Suppl 1) :S92

  • Published:


  • Healthy Subject
  • Virtual Reality
  • Fundamental Aspect
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Specific Brain

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.

Authors’ Affiliations

Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Brain Mind Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland


© Blanke; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.