Neuropathologies of the self: Clinical and anatomical features

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57 Scopus citations


The neuropathologies of the self (NPS) are disorders of the self and identity that occur in association with neuropathology and include perturbations of the bodily, relational, and narrative self. Right, especially medial-frontal and orbitofrontal lesions, are associated with these conditions. The ego disequilibrium theory proposes this brain pathology causes a disturbance of ego boundaries and functions and the emergence of developmentally immature styles of thought, ego functioning, and psychological defenses including denial, projection, splitting, and fantasy that the NPS patient has in common with the child. I hypothesize that during brain development between approximately ages 3 and 7 immature defensive functions and fantasies tend to be replaced by mature defenses and the inhibition of fantasy a process that depends upon maturational processes within the right hemisphere. I propose a four-tiered model of the NPS that emphasizes a multifactorial approach and includes both negative and positive, bottom up and top down, and neuropsychological and psychological factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Asomatognosia
  • Confabulation
  • Delusional misidentification syndromes
  • Ego functions
  • Neuropathologies of the self
  • Psychological defense
  • Somatoparaphrenia


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