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HYPOTHESIS AND THEORY article

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.698778

THE ME-FILE: AN EVENT-CODING APPROACH TO SELF-REPRESENTATION Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

  • 1Psychology Cognitive Psychology Unit, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Germany

Numerous authors have taken it for granted that people represent themselves or even have something like “a self”, but the underlying mechanisms remain a mystery. How do people represent themselves? Here I propose that they do so not any differently from how they represent other individuals, events, and objects: by binding codes representing the sensory consequences of being oneself into a Me-File, that is, into an event file integrating all the codes resulting from the behaving me. This amounts to a Humean bundle-self theory of selfhood, and I will explain how recent extensions of the Theory of Event Coding, a general theory of human perception and action control, provide all the necessary ingredients for specifying the mechanisms underlying such a theory. The Me-File concept is likely to provide a useful mechanistic basis for more specific and more theoretically productive experimentation, as well as for the construction of artificial agents with human-like selves.

Keywords: Self representation, agency, body ownership, Theory of Event Coding (TEC), minimal self

Received: 22 Apr 2021; Accepted: 30 Jun 2021.

Copyright: © 2021 Hommel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Bernhard Hommel, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Psychology Cognitive Psychology Unit, Dresden, 2333 XZ, Germany, bh@bhommel.onmicrosoft.com