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American staffordshire terrier dog with little kitten

Claim: A single brain region preserves our sense of self

No. We live in a strange world but it is not so strange as all that.

Neuroscientist Robert Martone tells us,

A new study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience(SCAN), explores how a specific brain region helps knit together memories of the present and future self. Injury to that area leads to an impaired sense of identity. The region—called the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)—may produce a fundamental model of our self and place it in mental time. In doing so, this study suggests, it may be the source of our sense of self.

Robert Martone, “How Our Brain Preserves Our Sense of Self” at Scientific American Paper.

This is nonsense, of course. A kitten has a sense of self if you try holding on to its tail. But so does a fly if you try holding onto its wing. Does the fly really have a ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)? Is vmPFC really necessary to a sense of injury to self?

We live in a strange world but it is not so strange as all that.


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Claim: A single brain region preserves our sense of self