Click here to download

Self and Others in The Mind/Brain/Body System: Towards an Intersubjective Organization of The Self
Journal Title: SETTING 
Author/s: Clara Mucci, Andrea Scalabrini 
Year:  2020 Issue: 44 Language: Italian 
Pages:  38 Pg. 79-116 FullText PDF:  346 KB
DOI:  10.3280/SET2020-044004
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 


The concept of self is becoming more and more a topic of interest in neuroscience. Several authors have been elucidating the neural correlates of the self and assume that the self may play a central role in the neural architecture of the brain (Panksepp, 1998; Northoff and Bermpohl, 2004; Northoff and Panksepp, 2008), for example, comparing self- and non-self specific stimuli, they found major changes in the Cortical Midline Structure (SCMS) and Sub-Cortical Midline Structure (SCMS). The concept of self seems to constitute a predisposition for individual differences in behavior, cognitions, emotions etc., i.e., one’s personological profile. The notion that interpersonal relatedness and self-definition issues are central in personality disturbances and in the development of personality has been strongly influenced by attachment theory (Fonagy & Luyten, 2009; Fonagy et al., 2010; Levy, 2005) and contemporary interpersonal formulations (Pincus, 2005). Theory and research in this field have addressed the role of early caregiving relationships in the development of representations of self and others in both, normal and disrupted development (Blatt, Auerbach and Levy, 1997). This conceptualization is very much coherent with several psychoanalytic formulations that point out how relatively satisfactory caring experiences are potentially facilitating the development of a differentiated and cohesive sense of self and a capacity for increasingly mature interpersonal relatedness and capacity for intimacy (Blatt & Blass, 1996; Kernberg, 1975; Kohut, 1971). Intersubjectivity and the concept of Self seem to be closely related to each other. Other individuals are approached as similar to the self, i.e. with similar mental and bodily experiences (feelings, sensations), different from the inanimate world. We are moving towards a new model that can develop a bridge between Neuroscience, Psychoanalytic formulations and Clinical practice.The neuroscientific relational-constructional concept of the Self and the study of the Resting State Activity in relation to Laboratory tasks can shed a light on the importance of intersubjectivity and intentional attunement (Gallese, Eagle, Migone, 2007) between individuals. We aim to propose our empirical findings on the relation between resting state activity and a laboratory task based on touch (intention to touch a human animate hand vs. a mannequin inanimate hand), given that touch has a privileged status in making possible the social attribution of lived personhood to others. Our results suggest how our brain during resting state seems to be relational by default, it encodes self-awareness necessary to relate with others individuals but not with inanimate objects. Will be discussed how neuroscientific findings have an impact on psychoanalytic concepts releted to clinical practice and how both, the study of Resting State Activity and Task Evoked Activity of the brain can be related to concepts like intentional attunement, empathy and how interaction between different state of the brain/mind can inform clinical practice on Self-Other representations.
Keywords: Self, mind/brain/body system, intersubjectivity

  1. Adolphs R. (1999). Social cognition and the human brain. Trends in cognitive sciences, 3 (12): 469-479.
  2. Ammaniti M. e Gallese V. (2014). La nascita della intersoggettività: lo sviluppo del sé tra psicodinamica e neurobiologia [The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neurobiology, and the Self]. Raffaello Cortina Editore.
  3. Andrews-Hanna J.R., Reidler J.S., Sepulcre J., Poulin R. and Buckner R.L. (2010). Functional-anatomic fractionation of the brain’s default network. Neuron, 65(4): 550-562.
  4. Bai Y., Nakao T., Xu J., Qin P., Chaves P., Heinzel A., Duncan N., Lane T., Yen N., Tsai S. and Northoff G. (2016). Resting state glutamate predicts elevated pre-stimulus alpha during self-relatedness: a combined EEG-MRS study on “rest-self overlap”. Social neuroscience, 11(3): 249-263., DOI: 10.1080/17470919.2015.1072582
  5. Barsalou L.W. (2009). Simulation, situated conceptualization, and prediction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1521): 1281-1289.
  6. Beebe B. and Lachmann F.M. (1988). The contribution of mother-infant mutual influence to the origins of self-and object representations. Psychoanalytic psychology, 5(4): 305-337., DOI: 10.1037/0736-9735.5.4.305
  7. Blatt S.J. and Blass R.B. (1996). Relatedness and self-definition: A dialectic model of personality development. Development and vulnerabilities in close relationships. In: Noam G.G. and Fischer K.W., editor, The Jean Piaget symposium series. Development and vulnerability in close relationships. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc, pp. 309-338.
  8. Blatt S.J., Auerbach J.S. and Levy K.N. (1997). Mental representations in personality development, psychopathology, and the therapeutic process. Review of General Psychology, 1(4): 351-374., DOI: 10.1037/1089-2680.1.4.351
  9. Brockman R. (2002). Self, object, neurobiology. Neuropsychoanalysis, 4(1): 89-101., DOI: 10.1080/15294145.2002.10773382
  10. Broucek F. (1982). Shame and its relationship to early narcissistic developments. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 63(3): 369-378.
  11. Bucci W. (1997). Symptoms and symbols: A multiple code theory of somatization. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 17(2): 151-172., DOI: 10.1080/07351699709534117
  12. Bufalari I. and Ionta S. (2013). The social and personality neuroscience of empathy for pain and touch. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 7: 393.
  13. Cozolino L. (2014). The neuroscience of human relationships: Attachment and the developing social brain (Norton series on interpersonal neurobiology). New York: WW Norton & Company.
  14. Craig A.D. (2009). How do you feel-now? The anterior insula and human awareness. Nature reviews neuroscience, 10(1): 59-70.
  15. Damasio A. (1998). Emotion in the perspective of an integrated nervous system. Brain research reviews, 26(2-3): 83-86.
  16. Damasio A. (2010). Autre moi-même (L’): Les nouvelles cartes du cerveau, de la conscience et des émotions. Odile Jacob.
  17. Damasio A. (2012). Neuroscience and psychoanalysis: a natural alliance. The psychoanalytic review, 99(4): 591-594.
  18. Iacoboni M. (2009). Imitation, empathy, and mirror neurons. Annual review of psychology, 60: 653-670.
  19. De Greck M., Rotte M., Paus R., Moritz D., Thiemann R., Proesch U., Bruer U., Moerth S., Tempelmann C., Bogerts B. and Northoff G. (2008). Is our self based on reward? Self-relatedness recruits neural activity in the reward system. Neuroimage, 39(4): 2066-2075.
  20. Edelman G.M. (1989). The remembered present: a biological theory of consciousness. Basic Books.
  21. Fan Y., Wonneberger C., Enzi B., De Greck M., Ulrich C., Tempelmann C., Bogerts B., Doering S. and Northoff G. (2011). The narcissistic self and its psychological and neural correlates: an exploratory fMRI study. Psychological medicine, 41(8): 1641-1650., DOI: 10.1017/S003329171000228X
  22. Ferenczi S. (1932a). The Clinical Diary of Sandor Ferenczi (ED. E. Dupont). Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 1998.
  23. Ferenczi S. (1932b). Confusion of the tongue between adults and the child (the language of tenderness and the language of [sexual] passion) (Trans. Masson J.M. and Loring I.), Appendix C. In: Masson J.M. (1984). The Assault on Truth: Freud’s Suppression of the Seduction Theory. New York: Random House.
  24. Ferenczi S. (1949). Confusion of the tongues between the adults and the child – (The language of tenderness and of passion). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 30: 225-230.
  25. Fonagy P. (2010). Attachment and personality pathology. In: Clarkin J.F., Fonagy F. and Gabbard G.O., editor, Psychodynamic psychotherapy for personality disorders: A clinical handbook. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc, pp. 37-87.
  26. Fonagy P. and Luyten P. (2009). A developmental, mentalization-based approach to the understanding and treatment of borderline personality disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 21(4): 1355-1381., DOI: 10.1017/S0954579409990198
  27. Fonagy P. and Target M. (2002). Early intervention and the development of self-regulation. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 22(3): 307-335., DOI: 10.1080/07351692209348990
  28. Frings C. and Wentura D. (2014). Self-priorization processes in action and perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40(5): 1737-1740.
  29. Gallese V. (2003). The roots of empathy: the shared manifold hypothesis and the neural basis of intersubjectivity. Psychopathology, 36(4): 171-180., DOI: 10.1159/000072786
  30. Gallese V. (2005). “Being Like Me”: Self-Other Identity, Mirror Neurons, and Empathy. In: Hurley S. and Chater N., editor, Perspectives on imitation: From neuroscience to social science: Vol. 1. Mechanisms of imitation and imitation in animals. MIT Press, pp. 101-118.
  31. Gallese V. (2009). Mirror neurons, embodied simulation, and the neural basis of social identification. Psychoanalytic dialogues, 19(5): 519-536., DOI: 10.1080/10481880903231910
  32. Gallese V. and Ebisch S. (2013). Embodied simulation and touch: The sense of touch in social cognition. Phenomenology and Mind, 4: 196-210.
  33. Gallese V., Eagle M.N. and Migone P. (2007). Intentional attunement: Mirror neurons and the neural underpinnings of interpersonal relations. Journal of the American psychoanalytic Association, 55(1): 131-175., DOI: 10.1177/00030651070550010601
  34. Gu X., Hof P.R., Friston K.J. and Fan J. (2013). Anterior insular cortex and emotional awareness. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 521(15): 3371-3388.
  35. Hesslow G. (2002). Conscious thought as simulation of behaviour and perception. Trends in cognitive sciences, 6(6): 242-247., DOI: 10.1016/S1364-6613(02)01913-7
  36. Hofer M.A. (1984). Relationships as regulators: A psychobiologic perspective on bereavement. Psychosomatic medicine, 46(3): 183-197., DOI: 10.1097/00006842-198405000-00001
  37. Kernberg O.F. (1975). A systems approach to priority setting of interventions in groups. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 25(3): 251-275., DOI: 10.1080/00207284.1975.1149189
  38. Kernberg O.F. (1985). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism. Rowman & Littlefield.
  39. Kernberg O.F. (2013). Amore e aggressività. Prospettive cliniche e teoriche. Giovanni Fioriti Editore.
  40. Kerr I.B., Finlayson-Short L., McCutcheon L.K., Beard H. and Chanen A.M. (2015). The ‘self’ and borderline personality disorder: conceptual and clinical considerations. Psychopathology, 48(5): 339-348., DOI: 10.1159/000438827
  41. Keysers C., Kaas J.H. and Gazzola V. (2010). Somatosensation in social perception. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(6): 417-428.
  42. Knox J. (2010). Response to ‘Emotions in action through the looking glass’. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 55(1): 30-34.
  43. Kohut H. (1971). Introspektion, Empathie und Psychoanalyse: Zur Beziehung zwischen Beobachtungsmethode und Theorie. Psyche, 25(11): 831-855.
  44. Kuehn E., Mueller K., Lohmann G. and Schuetz-Bosbach S. (2016). Interoceptive awareness changes the posterior insula functional connectivity profile. Brain Structure and Function, 221(3): 1555-1571.
  45. Lamm C. and Majdandžić J. (2015). The role of shared neural activations, mirror neurons, and morality in empathy – A critical comment. Neuroscience Research, 90: 15-24.
  46. Levy K.N. (2005). The implications of attachment theory and research for understanding borderline personality disorder. Development and psychopathology, 17(4): 959-986.
  47. Liotti G. (2002). The inner schema of borderline states and its correction during psychotherapy: A cognitive-evolutionary approach. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 16(3): 349-366.
  48. Lyons‐Ruth K. (2008). Contributions of the mother–infant relationship to dissociative, borderline, and conduct symptoms in young adulthood. Infant Mental Health Journal: Official Publication of The World Association for Infant Mental Health, 29(3): 203-218.
  49. McKiernan K.A., D’Angelo B.R., Kaufman J.N. and Binder J.R. (2006). Interrupting the “stream of consciousness”: an fMRI investigation. Neuroimage, 29(4): 1185-1191.
  50. Meltzoff A.N. and Brooks R. (2001). “Like me” as a building block for understanding other minds: Bodily acts, attention, and intention. In: Malle B.F., Moses L.J. and Baldwin D.A., editors, Intentions and intentionality: Foundations of social cognition. The MIT Press, pp. 171-191.
  51. Mucci C. (2013). Beyond individual and collective trauma: Intergenerational transmission, psychoanalytic treatment, and the dynamics of forgiveness. London, Karnac Books (trad. it.: Trauma e perdono. Una prospettiva psicoanalitica intergenerazionale. Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2014).
  52. Mucci C. (2016). Implicit memory, unrepressed unconscious, and trauma theory: The turn of the screw between contemporary psychoanalysis and neuroscience. In: Craparo G. and Mucci C., editors, Unrepressed unconscious, implicit memory, and clinical work. London, Karnac Books, pp. 109-129., DOI: 10.4324/9780429484629-5
  53. Mucci C. (2018). Borderline Bodies: Affect Regulation Therapy for Personality Disorders (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology). New York: WW Norton & Company (trad. it.: Corpi borderline. Regolazione affettiva e clinica dei disturbi di personalità. Raffello Cortina Editore, 2020).
  54. Mucci C. (2017). Psychoanalysis for a new humanism: Embodied testimony, connectedness, memory and forgiveness for a “persistence of the human”. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 27(3): 176-187.
  55. Mucci, C. (2017). Ferenczi’s revolutionary therapeutic approach. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 77(3): 239-254.
  56. Northoff G. (2011). Neuropsychoanalysis in practice: brain, self and objects. Oxford University Press.
  57. Northoff G. (2015). Resting state activity and the “stream of consciousness” in schizophrenia-neurophenomenal hypotheses. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 41(1): 280-290.
  58. Northoff G. (2016). Is the self a higher-order or fundamental function of the brain? The “basis model of self-specificity” and its encoding by the brain’s spontaneous activity. Cognitive neuroscience, 7(1-4): 203-222., DOI: 10.1080/17588928.2015.1111868
  59. Northoff G. and Bermpohl F. (2004). Cortical midline structures and the self. Trends in cognitive sciences, 8(3): 102-107.
  60. Northoff G. and Panksepp J. (2008). The trans-species concept of self and the subcortical-cortical midline system. Trends in cognitive sciences, 12(7): 259-264.
  61. Northoff G., Heinzel A., De Greck M., Bermpohl F., Dobrowolny H. and Panksepp J. (2006). Self-referential processing in our brain – a meta-analysis of imaging studies on the self. Neuroimage, 31(1): 440-457.
  62. Northoff G., Schneider F., Rotte M., Matthiae C., Tempelmann C., Wiebking C., Bermpohl F., Heinzel A., Danos P., Heinze H.J., Bogerts B., Walter M. and Panksepp J. (2009). Differential parametric modulation of self‐relatedness and emotions in different brain regions. Human brain mapping, 30(2): 369-382.
  63. Panksepp J. (1998). The periconscious substrates of consciousness: Affective states and the evolutionary origins of the self. Journal of consciousness studies, 5 (5-6): 566-582.
  64. Panksepp J. and Biven L. (2012). The archaeology of mind: neuroevolutionary origins of human emotions (Norton series on interpersonal neurobiology). New York: WW Norton & Company.
  65. Phan K.L., Wager T.D., Taylor S.F. and Liberzon I. (2004). Functional neuroimaging studies of human emotions. CNS spectrums, 9(4): 258-266.
  66. Pincus A.L. (2005). A Contemporary Integrative Interpersonal Theory of Personality Disorders. In: Lenzenweger M.F. and Clarkin J.F., editors, Major theories of personality disorder. Guilford Press, pp. 282-331.
  67. Qin P. and Northoff G. (2011). How is our self related to midline regions and the default-mode network?. Neuroimage, 57(3): 1221-1233.
  68. Rizzolatti G. and Sinigaglia C. (2007). Mirror neurons and motor intentionality. Functional neurology, 22(4): 205-210.
  69. Rolls E.T., O’Doherty J., Kringelbach M.L., Francis S., Bowtell R. and McGlone F. (2003). Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cerebral cortex, 13(3): 308-317.
  70. Ronningstam E. (2011). Narcissistic personality disorder in DSM-V – in support of retaining a significant diagnosis. Journal of Personality Disorders, 25(2): 248-259.
  71. Scalabrini A. Huang Z. Mucci C. Perrucci M.G. Ferretti, A. Fossati A. Romani GL, Northoff G. Ebisch S. J. (2017). How spontaneous brain activity and narcissistic features shape social interaction. Scientific reports, 7(1): 1-12.
  72. Schore A.N. (1994). Affect regulation and the origin of the self: The neurobiology of emotional development. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
  73. Schore A.N. (2001). The effects of early relational trauma on right brain development, affect regulation, and infant mental health. Infant Mental Health Journal: Official Publication of The World Association for Infant Mental Health, 22(1‐2): 201-269.
  74. Schore A.N. (2003a). Affect Regulation and disorders of the self. New York: WW Norton & Company.
  75. Schore A.N. (2003b). Affect Regulation and the Repair of the self. New York: WW Norton & Company Norton.
  76. Schore A.N. (2012). The Science of the Art of Psychotherapy. New York: WW Norton & Company.
  77. Schore A.N. (2017). All our sons: The developmental neurobiology and neuroendocrinology of boys at risk. Infant Mental Health Journal, 38(1): 15-52.
  78. Schore A. N. (2000). Attachment and the regulation of the right brain. Attachment & Human Development, 2(1): 23-47., DOI: 10.1080/146167300361309
  79. Siegel D.J. (2015). Interpersonal neurobiology as a lens into the development of wellbeing and reslience. Children Australia, 40(2): 160-164.
  80. Smallwood J. and Schooler J.W. (2006). The restless mind. Psychological bulletin, 132(6): 946-958., DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.132.6.946
  81. Stern D.N. (1985). Affect attunement. In: Call J., Galeson E. and Tyson R.L., editors, Frontiers of Infant Psychiatry II. New York: Basic Books.
  82. Stern D.N. (2000). The relevance of empirical infant research to psychoanalytic theory and practice. In: Sandler J., Sandler A.M and Davies R., editors, Psychoanalytic monographs; no. 5. Clinical and observational psychoanalytic research: Roots of a controversy. International Universities Press, Inc, pp. 73-90.
  83. Sui J., Chechlacz M. and Humphreys G.W. (2012). Dividing the self: Distinct neural substrates of taskbased and automatic self-prioritization after brain damage. Cognition, 122(2): 150-162.
  84. Sui J., Rotshtein P. and Humphreys G.W. (2013). Coupling social attention to the self forms a network for personal significance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(19): 7607-7612.
  85. Trevarthen C. (2001). The neurobiology of early communication: Intersubjective regulations in human brain development. Handbook on brain and behavior in human development.
  86. Tronick E. (2007). The neurobehavioral and social-emotional development of infants and children. New York: WW Norton & Company.
  87. Tsakiris M., Costantini M. and Haggard P. (2008). The role of the right temporo-parietal junction in maintaining a coherent sense of one’s body. Neuropsychologia, 46(12): 3014-3018.
  88. Uddin L.Q. and Menon V. (2009). The anterior insula in autism: under-connected and under-examined. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 33(8): 1198-1203.

Clara Mucci, Andrea Scalabrini, Self and Others in The Mind/Brain/Body System: Towards an Intersubjective Organization of The Self in "SETTING" 44/2020, pp. 79-116, DOI:10.3280/SET2020-044004

   

FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content