Cortical midline structures and the self

Georg Northoff, Felix Bermpohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1084 Citations (Scopus)


For a long time philosophers and psychologists have been intrigued by the question of the self. More recently, this has become a topic of discussion in neuroscience. In this article, we suggest that the processing of self-referential stimuli in cortical midline structures (CMS) is a fundamental component in generating a model of the self. Drawing from neuroimaging studies, we distinguish between representation, monitoring, evaluation and integration of self-referential stimuli. All of these subfunctions are related to distinct regions within the CMS. This relationship between self-referential processing and CMS might provide novel insight into the neural correlates underlying the constitution of the self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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