Author(s): Blanke O, Metzinger T
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Abstract We highlight the latest research on body perception and self-consciousness, but argue that despite these achievements, central aspects have remained unexplored, namely, global aspects of bodily self-consciousness. Researchers investigated central representations of body parts and actions involving these, but neglected the global and unitary character of self-consciousness, the 'I' of experience and behaviour. We ask, what are the minimally sufficient conditions for the appearance of a phenomenal self, that is, the fundamental conscious experience of being someone? What are necessary conditions for self-consciousness in any type of system? We offer conceptual clarifications, discuss recent empirical evidence from neurology and cognitive science and argue that these findings offer a new entry point for the systematic study of global and more fundamental aspects of self-consciousness.
This article was published in Trends Cogn Sci
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology