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Is There a You in Your Brain?: The Neuroscientific Support for the Bundle-Theory View of the Nature of the Self
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Why do you experience yourself as a continuous self? This is a central question when regarding the self and it has two kinds of answers: either there is something like an ego inside you which is the entity perceiving all your experiences (the ego theory-view), or there is no such thing as a self or an ego and you are just a collection of different perceptions (the bundle theory-view). There are many different components all contributing to the concept of self as a whole leading to different neuroscientific ways of measuring it and some researchers are arguing for the nonexistence of a unified self-system within the brain. The aim of this thesis is to review how neuroscientific findings might contribute to the philosophical debate about the nature of self. The thesis starts off by reviewing the different concepts and components with which the self is typically described, both in philosophy and in the empirical research field of neuroscience. Then follows a presentation of three important aspects of self-awareness – first-person perspective, self-reflection, and interoception – and their specific associated brain areas (namely, the medial prefrontal cortex, the posterior and anterior cingulate cortices, and insula). The purpose here is to examine how the self is approached in these studies. After this the thesis explores to what extent neuroscience supports the bundle theory-view, with a focus on reviewing the different brain networks involved in the processing of self. In conclusion, the thesis suggests that the literature reviewed provides neuroscientific support for the bundle theory-view that there is no unified self located in the brain, mostly because of the dissimilar neural activations associated with different self-related processes. In other words, the bundle theory seems to be correct despite the experienced feeling you have of being a continuous and unified self. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 42
Keywords [en]
Self, neural basis of self, bundle theory, no unified self
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17256OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-17256DiVA, id: diva2:1328584
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Consciousness Studies - Philosophy and Neuropsychology
Presentation
2019-05-20, 21:38 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-25 Created: 2019-06-21 Last updated: 2019-06-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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