The relationship of self-relatedness and emotional processing

Alexander Heinzel, Georg Franz Josef Northoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Self and emotion have been discussed separately in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience whereas their relationship has been rather neglected. We here suggest that they are intrinsically linked by demonstrating that self-relatedness accounts for the subjectivity of emotions, and emotional valence reflects affectivity of the self. Based on functional imaging studies, we discuss different possible spatio-temporal patterns of neural activity in anterior cortical midline structures (aCMS) that allow us to link and, at the same time, to distinguish self-relatedness and emotional valence. We conclude that the aCMS may be crucial in affectively colouring our self and associating our emotional feelings with the self. © Imprint Academic, 2014.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-48
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Consciousness Studies
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterior cortical midline structures (aCMS)
  • Emotional experience
  • Emotions
  • Self
  • Self-related processing


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