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Review
. 2013 Sep 4;7:548.
doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00548.

Cortical Midline Structures and Autobiographical-Self Processes: An Activation-Likelihood Estimation Meta-Analysis

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Free PMC article
Review

Cortical Midline Structures and Autobiographical-Self Processes: An Activation-Likelihood Estimation Meta-Analysis

Helder F Araujo et al. Front Hum Neurosci. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The autobiographical-self refers to a mental state derived from the retrieval and assembly of memories regarding one's biography. The process of retrieval and assembly, which can focus on biographical facts or personality traits or some combination thereof, is likely to vary according to the domain chosen for an experiment. To date, the investigation of the neural basis of this process has largely focused on the domain of personality traits using paradigms that contrasted the evaluation of one's traits (self-traits) with those of another person's (other-traits). This has led to the suggestion that cortical midline structures (CMSs) are specifically related to self states. Here, with the goal of testing this suggestion, we conducted activation-likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses based on data from 28 neuroimaging studies. The ALE results show that both self-traits and other-traits engage CMSs; however, the engagement of medial prefrontal cortex is greater for self-traits than for other-traits, while the posteromedial cortex is more engaged for other-traits than for self-traits. These findings suggest that the involvement CMSs is not specific to the evaluation of one's own traits, but also occurs during the evaluation of another person's traits.

Keywords: autobiographical memory; autobiographical-self; cortical midline structures; fMRI; meta-analysis; self.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Meta-analysis of activation foci (159 foci; 21 experiments) for self-traits compared with baseline.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Meta-analysis of activation foci (114 foci; 12 experiments) for other-traits compared with baseline.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Meta-analysis of activation foci for self-traits compared with other-traits in relation to both kinds of other (148 foci; 22 experiments), to distant kinds of other (98 foci; 15 experiments), and to close kinds of other (50 foci; 10 experiments).
Figure 4
Figure 4
Meta-analysis of activation foci for other-traits compared with self-traits in relation to both kinds of other combined (61 foci; 12 experiments), to distant kinds of other (23 foci; 7 experiments), and to close kinds of other (38 foci; 6 experiments).

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