The Neuroscientific Study of the Self: Methodological and Theoretical Challenges

Cynthia J. Najdowski, E. Samuel Winer

Abstract


Neuroscientific research methods, such as brain imaging techniques, have increasingly been applied to social cognitive research efforts and, in particular, to the study of the self. In this essay we discuss the ability of such research to shed light on the emergent, dynamic psychological phenomenon of self. Although neuroscientific tools can be useful for gaining general knowledge about associated underlying structures, a careful consideration of the methodological and theoretical issues discussed herein is necessary to avoid simplifying or reifying the self. 


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