Where Do We Stand on Locating the Self?

DOI: 10.4236/psych.2011.24049   PDF   HTML     5,425 Downloads   10,416 Views   Citations


The subjective location of the Self in the body is a traditionally problematic question, and it can only be addressed from the first-person perspective. However, this does not preclude an empirical approach to the question. In the present study, we examined whether a large sample of participants would be willing and able to determine the perceived location of their Self. The main goal was to assess current beliefs about the nature of the Self and its assumed relation to specific bodily organs. Eighty-seven participants indicated the center of their Self by placing crosshairs on human silhouettes and abstract, non-human silhouettes with varying anatomy. Results show a clearly dominant role of the brain and the heart for Self-location in humans, but only of the brain for Self-location in abstract creatures. Moreover, results reveal that people believe there is one single point inside the human body where their Self is located.

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Limanowski, J. & Hecht, H. (2011). Where Do We Stand on Locating the Self?. Psychology, 2, 312-317. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.24049.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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