Authors
Andrew And Alexander Fingelkurts
BM-Science - Brain and Mind Technologies Research Centre
Abstract
It has been argued that complex subjective sense of self is linked to the brain default-mode network (DMN). Recent discovery of heterogeneity between distinct subnets (or operational modules - OMs) of the DMN leads to a reconceptualization of its role for the experiential sense of self. Considering the recent proposition that the frontal DMN OM is responsible for the first-person perspective and the sense of agency, while the posterior DMN OMs are linked to the continuity of ‘I’ experience (including autobiographical memories) through embodiment and localization within bodily space, we have tested in this study the hypothesis that heterogeneity in the operational synchrony strength within the frontal DMN OM among patients who are in a vegetative state (VS) could inform about a stable self-consciousness recovery later in the course of disease (up to six years post-injury). Using EEG operational synchrony analysis we have demonstrated that among the three OMs of the DMN only the frontal OM showed important heterogeneity in VS patients as a function of later stable clinical outcome. We also found that the frontal DMN OM was characterized by the process of active uncoupling (stronger in persistent VS) of operations performed by the involved neuronal assemblies.
Keywords Alpha rhythm  EEG  DMN  First-person perspective  Functional connectivity  Operational synchrony  Subjective sense of self  Unresponsive wakefulness syndrome  Vegetative state  Self-related processes
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Being a Self: Considerations From Functional Imaging.Debra A. Gusnard - 2005 - Consciousness and Cognition 14 (4):679-697.

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