What is it about?

In this study, we asked a tight-knight social network to think about themselves and everyone else in the network while undergoing functional magnetic imaging scanning. We showed that patterns of brain activity when a person is thinking of themselves were strongly related to patterns of brain activity when others in the group thought about that person.

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Why is it important?

We know that thinking about the self and thinking about others recruit similar brain regions. This is the first study to directly related these types of patterns to one another in a group of close individuals. These results provide evidence for a biological mechanism underlying these interpersonal perception processes.


Thinking of the self and other people are some of the hallmark characteristics of our species. This project was a nice example of how psychology and neuroscience can be mutually informative to one another.

Robert Chavez
University of Oregon

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The neural representation of self is recapitulated in the brains of friends: A round-robin fMRI study., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, October 2019, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/pspa0000178.
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