Brain connectivity and the self: The case of cerebral disconnection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Over the past several years, the study of self-related cognition has garnered increasing interest amongst psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists. Concomitantly, lesion and neuroimaging studies have demonstrated the importance of intact cortico-cortical and cortico-subcortical connections for supporting high-level cognitive functions. Commissurotomy or "split-brain" patients provide unique insights into the role of the cerebral commissures in maintaining an individual's sense of self, as well as into the unique self-representation capabilities of each cerebral hemisphere. Here we review empirical work examining the integrity of self-related processes in patients with various disconnection syndromes, focusing on studies of self-recognition, ownership, and agency. Taken together, this body of work suggests that an intact corpus callosum enabling interhemispheric transfer is necessary for some, but not all types of self-representations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-98
Number of pages5
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Agency
  • Alien hand
  • Anarchic hand
  • Brain connectivity
  • Brain network
  • Commissurotomy
  • Corpus callosum
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-recognition
  • Split-brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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