The Neural and Cognitive Foundations of the Self

Healthy humans have a sense of self, a unified  and embodied entity through which we experience the world. However, the neural and cognitive mechanisms which create and maintain this sense of self are yet poorly understood. At the lab we have several projects in which using virtual reality and bodily illusions we investigate how the sense of self is formed and maintained by the brain. 

The Abnormal Sense of Self

While the sense of self is a robust construct it is sometimes altered in psychiatric and neurological disorders. Schizophrenia patients often experience a loss of self, in which the demarcation between self and other is weakened resulting in symptoms such as auditory hallucinations or the sense that someone is controlling their actions. At the lab we study how the sense of self is modified in psychosis and Parkinson's disease patients and how this is related to predictive processing of sensorimotor signals.

Modifying the Sense of Self- "Disembodied Cognition"

Modern technology allows us to extend our experiences far beyond our bodies. We can now sense and act through technological proxies enabling us to "expand" our self further than ever before. Yet how these novel transformations of the self change the mind and how they modify our cognition and behaviour is not yet known. We are now investigating how "Disembodied Cognition" encompassing these novel states affects how we behave

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© 2017 by Roy Salomon