Self-Awareness and the Brain

always thought that self-awareness comes from how you are raised, experiences
you go through, and other things that help to shape you as a person. According
to research described in a recent Scientific American article, the
brain is very much involved in self-awareness. The article notes that researchers at the
University of Iowa say self-awareness comes from “a diffuse patchwork of
pathways in the brain, including other regions.”

studying a brain-damaged patient, the researchers found that he still had a
sense of self-awareness and self-recognition, despite damage to the three
regions thought to play a role in self-awareness. In the article, David
Rudrauf, who worked with the patient, said, “What this research clearly shows
is that self-awareness corresponds to a brain process that cannot be localized
to a single region of the brain.” The patient “found a deep capacity for
introspection,” and also “demonstrated self-agency.” The bottom line: Self-awareness is much
more complex and relies on more parts of the brain than previously thought.

never really took into account that the brain may play a role in
self-awareness. I always attributed it to…myself! In other words, I figured it
was something that just came to me as time went on and not because my brain was
controlling things. I sometimes wake up from a deep sleep and forget what day
it is and where I am, even if I’m in my own bedroom. But after I blink my eyes
a few times and get my head together, my awareness is back.


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