Self, cortical midline structures and the resting state: Implications for Alzheimer's disease

Marina Weiler, Georg Northoff, Benito Pereira Damasceno, Marcio Luiz Figueredo Balthazar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Different aspects of the self have been reported to be affected in many neurological or psychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), including mainly higher-level cognitive self-unawareness. This higher sense of self-awareness is most likely related to and dependent on episodic memory, due to the proper integration of ourselves in time, with a permanent conservation of ourselves (i.e., sense of continuity across time). Reviewing studies in this field, our objective is thus to raise possible explanations, especially with the help of neuroimaging studies, for where such self-awareness deficits originate in AD patients. We describe not only episodic (and autobiographical memory) impairment in patients, but also the important role of cortical midline structures, the Default Mode Network, and the resting state (intrinsic brain activity) for the processing of self-related information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Autobiographical memory
  • Cortical midline structures
  • Default mode network
  • Intrinsic activity
  • Resting state
  • Self-awareness
  • Temporal continuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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