Self processing in the brain: A paradigmatic fMRI case study with a professional singer

Yuliya S. Zaytseva, Evgeny Gutyrchik, Yan Bao, Ernst O. Pöppel, Shi-Hui Han, Georg Franz Josef Northoff, Lorenz Welker, Thomas M. Meindl, Janusch Blautzik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the mechanisms involved in perception and conception of oneself is a fundamental psychological topic with high relevance for psychiatric and neurological issues, and it is one of the great challenges in neuroscientific research. The paradigmatic single-case study presented here aimed to investigate different components of self- and other-processes and to elucidate corresponding neurobiological underpinnings. An eminent professional opera singer with profound performance experience has undergone functional magnetic resonance imaging and was exposed to excerpts of Mozart arias, sung by herself or another singer. The results indicate a distinction between self- and other conditions in cortical midline structures, differentially involved in self-related and self-referential processing. This lends further support to the assumption of cortical midline structures being involved in the neural processing of self-specific stimuli and also confirms the power of single case studies as a research tool. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-108
Number of pages5
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortical midline structures
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Professional identity
  • Self-referential processing
  • Self-related processing
  • Temporal processing
  • adult
  • aged
  • anterior cingulate
  • article
  • auditory discrimination
  • auditory stimulation
  • BOLD signal
  • brain function
  • controlled study
  • female
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • functional neuroimaging
  • human
  • human experiment
  • male
  • nerve cell network
  • normal human
  • orbital cortex
  • physical performance
  • precuneus
  • prefrontal cortex
  • priority journal
  • self concept
  • singing
  • superior frontal gyrus
  • task performance
  • temporal cortex
  • temporal gyrus
  • brain
  • brain mapping
  • case report
  • nuclear magnetic resonance imaging
  • physiology
  • Aged
  • Brain
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Self Concept
  • Singing


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