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The Brain as a ToolA Neuroscientist's Account$
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Ray Guillery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806738.001.0001

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The neural origins of a sense of self with a brief note on free will

The neural origins of a sense of self with a brief note on free will

Chapter:
(p.201) Chapter 14 The neural origins of a sense of self with a brief note on free will
Source:
The Brain as a Tool
Author(s):

Ray Guillery

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198806738.003.0014

This chapter is limited to a brief discussion of a sense of self, based on points that relate to the neural mechanisms discussed in previous chapters, in order to illustrate some important differences between the standard view and the integrative sensorimotor view of the self. I will treat the sense of self as produced by a temporal sequence of related perceptions that lead to ‘unconscious conclusions’ about the self. I shall address two major questions: (1) does our ability to anticipate our own actions contribute to a sense of self? Providing a clear ‘yes’. (2) Is our sense of self limited to the boundaries of our own bodies, and to the neural signals we receive from them? Providing a clear ‘no’. I will briefly address our sense of the self as agent, recognizing that this extends significantly beyond the content of this book.

Keywords:   the self, extending the self, a neural basis of the self, the laws of physics, the limits of free will

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