The assembly of the self from sensory and motor foundations

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The problem of the self has captivated philosophers and psychologists for centuries. While the self is clearly a central facet of the human psyche, to date we have a limited understanding of the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying this construct. The fundamental, pre-reflexive level of self-representation, often termed the minimal self has been the focus of recent work in psychology and neuroscience. This article will review recent advances in the study of the minimal self and its grounding in sensory and motor processing. I will suggest that the minimal self arises from unconscious integration of sensorimotor signals in specific brain systems, and that these same mechanisms may be of relevance to understanding disorders of the self such as schizophrenia. Finally, some influences of the minimal self on social cognition and future challenges will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-106
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Guilford Publications, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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