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Me, Myself and My Stranger: Understanding the Neuroscience of Selfhood

Me, Myself and My Stranger: Understanding the Neuroscience of Selfhood
Where are you right now? Maybe you are at home, the office or a coffee shop—but such responses provide only a partial answer to the question at hand. Asked another way, what is the location of your "self" as you read this sentence? Like most people, you probably have a strong sense that your conscious self is housed within your physical body, regardless of your surroundings. But sometimes this spatial self-location goes awry. During a so-called out-of-body experience, for example, one's self seems to be transported outside the physical body into a surreal perspective—some people even believe they are viewing their bodies from above, as though their true selves were floating. A new paper offers examples of rare bodily illusions that are not confined to a single limb, nor are they complete out-of-body experiences—they are somewhere in between. Patient 1 was a 55-year-old man who had suffered from epilepsy since he was 14 years old.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/neuroscience-of-selfhood/

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Neuroscience of free will Neuroscience of free will is the part of neurophilosophy that studies the interconnections between free will and neuroscience. As it has become possible to study the living brain, researchers have begun to watch decision making processes at work. Findings could carry implications for our sense of agency and for moral responsibility and the role of consciousness in general.[1][2][3] Relevant findings include the pioneering study by Benjamin Libet and its subsequent redesigns; these studies were able to detect activity related to a decision to move, and the activity appears to begin briefly before people become conscious of it.[4] Other studies try to predict activity before overt action occurs.[5] Taken together, these various findings show that at least some actions - like moving a finger - are initiated unconsciously at first, and enter consciousness afterward.[6]

Wellcome Image of the Month: Celebration of the brain Recently, the Wellcome Trust supported a play called 2401 Objects. It tells the story of Henry Molaison, who suffered from epilepsy and underwent experimental surgery in an attempt to cure his frequent and often disruptive seizures. Unbeknown to Henry at the time, the operation was set to become one of the most influential case studies in the history of neuroscience research. Patient HM, as Henry later became known within the research community, provided a rare but hugely powerful insight into the cognitive and neural organisation of memory, both experimentally and theoretically.

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Scientists extract images directly from brain Researchers from Japan's ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person's mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people's dreams while they sleep. The scientists were able to reconstruct various images viewed by a person by analyzing changes in their cerebral blood flow. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, the researchers first mapped the blood flow changes that occurred in the cerebral visual cortex as subjects viewed various images held in front of their eyes.

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