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Empirical perspectives from the self-model theory of subjectivity: a brief summary with examples

In Rahul Banerjee & B. K. Chakrabarti (eds.), Models of Brain and Mind: Physical, Computational, and Psychological Approaches. Elsevier (2008)

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  1. The Myth of Cognitive Agency: Subpersonal Thinking as a Cyclically Recurring Loss of Mental Autonomy.Thomas Metzinger - 2013 - Frontiers in Psychology 4:931.
    This metatheoretical paper investigates mind wandering from the perspective of philosophy of mind. It has two central claims. The first is that, on a conceptual level, mind wandering can be fruitfully described as a specific form of mental autonomy loss. The second is that, given empirical constraints, most of what we call “conscious thought” is better analyzed as a subpersonal process that more often than not lacks crucial properties traditionally taken to be the hallmark of personal-level cognition - such as (...)
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  • M-Autonomy.Thomas Metzinger - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (11-12):270-302.
    What we traditionally call ‘conscious thought’ actually is a subpersonal process, and only rarely a form of mental action. The paradigmatic, standard form of conscious thought is non-agentive, because it lacks veto-control and involves an unnoticed loss of epistemic agency and goal-directed causal self-determination at the level of mental content. Conceptually, it must be described as an unintentional form of inner behaviour. Empirical research shows that we are not mentally autonomous subjects for about two thirds of our conscious lifetime, because (...)
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  • The Problem of Mental Action.Thomas Metzinger - 2017 - Philosophy and Predicitive Processing.
    In mental action there is no motor output to be controlled and no sensory input vector that could be manipulated by bodily movement. It is therefore unclear whether this specific target phenomenon can be accommodated under the predictive processing framework at all, or if the concept of “active inference” can be adapted to this highly relevant explanatory domain. This contribution puts the phenomenon of mental action into explicit focus by introducing a set of novel conceptual instruments and developing a first (...)
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  • Real Virtuality: A Code of Ethical Conduct. Recommendations for Good Scientific Practice and the Consumers of VR-Technology.Michael Madary & Thomas Metzinger - 2016 - Frontiers in Robotics and AI 3:1-23.
    The goal of this article is to present a first list of ethical concerns that may arise from research and personal use of virtual reality (VR) and related technology, and to offer concrete recommendations for minimizing those risks. Many of the recommendations call for focused research initiatives. In the first part of the article, we discuss the relevant evidence from psychology that motivates our concerns. In Section “Plasticity in the Human Mind,” we cover some of the main results suggesting that (...)
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  • Full-Body Illusions and Minimal Phenomenal Selfhood.Olaf Blanke & Thomas Metzinger - 2009 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):7-13.
  • The Projective Consciousness Model and Phenomenal Selfhood.Kenneth Williford, Daniel Bennequin, Karl Friston & David Rudrauf - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Rapid Eye Movements in Sleep Furnish a Unique Probe Into Consciousness.Charles C.-H. Hong, James H. Fallon, Karl J. Friston & James C. Harris - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Self-Consciousness Concept and Assessment in Self-Report Measures.Amanda DaSilveira, Mariane L. DeSouza & William B. Gomes - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • The Senses of Agency and Ownership: A Review.Niclas Braun, Stefan Debener, Nadine Spychala, Edith Bongartz, Peter Sörös, Helge H. O. Müller & Alexandra Philipsen - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Commentary: M-Autonomy.Krzysztof Dołȩga - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Being Present in More Than One Place at a Time? Patterns of Mental Self-Localization.Bartholomäus Wissmath, David Weibel, Jan Schmutz & Fred W. Mast - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1808-1815.
    Research in cognitive neuroscience and spatial presence suggests that human mental self-localization is tied to one place at a given point in time. In this study, we examined whether it is possible to feel localized at two distinct places at the same time. Participants were exposed to a virtual rollercoaster and they continuously judged to what extent they felt present in the immediate environment and in the mediated environment, respectively. The results show that participants distributed their self-localization to both environments, (...)
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  • Impaired Self-Reflection in Psychiatric Disorders Among Adults: A Proposal for the Existence of a Network of Semi Independent Functions.Giancarlo Dimaggio, Stijn Vanheule, Paul H. Lysaker, Antonino Carcione & Giuseppe Nicolò - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (3):653-664.
    Self-reflection plays a key role in healthy human adaptation. Self-reflection might involve different capacities which may be impaired to different degrees relatively independently of one another. Variation in abilities for different forms of self-reflection are commonly seen as key aspects of many adult mental disorders. Yet little has been written about whether there are different kinds of deficits in self-reflection found in mental illness, how those deficits should be distinguished from one another and how to characterize the extent to which (...)
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  • Psychogenic Amnesia – A Malady of the Constricted Self☆.Angelica Staniloiu, Hans J. Markowitsch & Matthias Brand - 2010 - Consciousness and Cognition 19 (3):778-801.
    Autobiographical–episodic memory is the conjunction of subjective time, autonoetic consciousness and the experiencing self. Understanding the neural correlates of autobiographical–episodic memory might therefore be essential for shedding light on the neurobiology underlying the experience of being an autonoetic self. In this contribution we illustrate the intimate relationship between autobiographical–episodic memory and self by reviewing the clinical and neuropsychological features and brain functional imaging correlates of psychogenic amnesia – a condition that is usually characterized by severely impaired retrograde memory functioning, in (...)
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  • Autoscopic Phenomena and One’s Own Body Representation in Dreams.Miranda Occhionero & Piera Carla Cicogna - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1009-1015.
    Autoscopic phenomena are complex experiences that include the visual illusory reduplication of one’s own body. From a phenomenological point of view, we can distinguish three conditions: autoscopic hallucinations, heautoscopy, and out-of-body experiences. The dysfunctional pattern involves multisensory disintegration of personal and extrapersonal space perception. The etiology, generally either neurological or psychiatric, is different. Also, the hallucination of Self and own body image is present during dreams and differs according to sleep stage. Specifically, the representation of the Self in REM dreams (...)
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  • Toward an Explanatory Framework for Mental Ownership.Timothy Lane - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (2):251-286.
    Philosophical and scientific investigations of the proprietary aspects of self—mineness or mental ownership—often presuppose that searching for unique constituents is a productive strategy. But there seem not to be any unique constituents. Here, it is argued that the “self-specificity” paradigm, which emphasizes subjective perspective, fails. Previously, it was argued that mode of access also fails to explain mineness. Fortunately, these failures, when leavened by other findings (those that exhibit varieties and vagaries of mineness), intimate an approach better suited to searching (...)
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