Longitudinal Dynamics of 3-Dimensional Components of Selfhood After Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A qEEG Case Study

Clinical EEG and Neuroscience 48 (5):327-337 (2017)
Abstract
In this report, we describe the case of a patient who sustained extremely severe traumatic brain damage with diffuse axonal injury in a traffic accident and whose recovery was monitored during 6 years. Specifically, we were interested in the recovery dynamics of 3-dimensional components of selfhood (a 3-dimensional construct model for the complex experiential selfhood has been recently proposed based on the empirical findings on the functional-topographical specialization of 3 operational modules of brain functional network responsible for the self-consciousness processing) derived from the electroencephalographic (EEG) signal. The analysis revealed progressive (though not monotonous) restoration of EEG functional connectivity of 3 modules of brain functional network responsible for the self-consciousness processing, which was also paralleled by the clinically significant functional recovery. We propose that restoration of normal integrity of the operational modules of the self-referential brain network may underlie the positive dynamics of 3 aspects of selfhood and provide a neurobiological mechanism for their recovery. The results are discussed in the context of recent experimental studies that support this inference. Studies of ongoing recovery after severe brain injury utilizing knowledge about each separate aspect of complex selfhood will likely help to develop more efficient and targeted rehabilitation programs for patients with brain trauma.
Keywords self-referential network  default-mode network (DMN)  subjective sense of self,  first-person perspective  EEG  alpha rhythm  operational synchrony  coma  vegetative state  minimally conscious state
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