Research Topic

(Dis)Embodied Perception of the Self and Other - Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Science & Arts

About this Research Topic

Recent years have seen a resurgence of philosophical, scientific, clinical and artistic interest in the foundations of conscious subjective experiences with particular focus on embodiment and their multisensory roots.

The capacity to integrate information across multiple sensory channels is indeed fundamental both to a) building coherent ways of coordinating and interacting with the physical and social environment; and b) scaffolding our conscious subjective experience of being present, in the here and now. It is widely agreed that bodily self-awareness, the feeling that our subjective experiences are bound to a “real me” or “self” inside our body is a key feature of the human mind. But what happens when the “me” inside gets disconnected from its bodily roots?

Disembodiment is a fascinating and intriguing phenomenon, typically manifesting as a disruption of bodily self-awareness which induces a disturbing feeling of self-detachment or “depersonalisation”. Estrangement from one’s bodily self and one’s physical and social environment triggers persistent and highly distressing feelings of alienation. Depersonalization and self-detachment are the third most common psychological and psychiatric symptoms (after anxiety and low mood) following severe stress, traumatic life events or drug use, especially amongst young people. Yet, despite its high prevalence in the general population, the impact of this phenomenon is still poorly understood and relatively understudied.


In this interdisciplinary Research Topic, we aim to bring together conceptual, empirical and performative arts resources from philosophy, science and arts exploring the relationship between (dis)embodiment, self-consciousness and social (dis)connectedness. We particularly encourage interdisciplinary submissions, as we believe that complex psychological phenomena (such a disrupted sense of self and disembodiment) are best tackled from a highly interdisciplinary perspective.


We welcome submissions of original research, review papers, and perspective papers from arts, science and philosophy that fall within the following (broad) categories:

1) the impact of (dis)embodiment and self-detachment on self-other (dis)connectedness;

2) the effect of body-based and dynamic approaches in tackling (dis)embodiment, self-detachment and social alienation;

3) the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to develop generative models of the brain or behavioural data addressing self-detachment phenomena in both clinical and non-clinical population





Photo credits: © Alejandro Galvez-Pol


Keywords: (Dis)Embodiment, Self-Awareness, Social Interaction, Intersubjectivity, Art-based and Body Psychotherapy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Recent years have seen a resurgence of philosophical, scientific, clinical and artistic interest in the foundations of conscious subjective experiences with particular focus on embodiment and their multisensory roots.

The capacity to integrate information across multiple sensory channels is indeed fundamental both to a) building coherent ways of coordinating and interacting with the physical and social environment; and b) scaffolding our conscious subjective experience of being present, in the here and now. It is widely agreed that bodily self-awareness, the feeling that our subjective experiences are bound to a “real me” or “self” inside our body is a key feature of the human mind. But what happens when the “me” inside gets disconnected from its bodily roots?

Disembodiment is a fascinating and intriguing phenomenon, typically manifesting as a disruption of bodily self-awareness which induces a disturbing feeling of self-detachment or “depersonalisation”. Estrangement from one’s bodily self and one’s physical and social environment triggers persistent and highly distressing feelings of alienation. Depersonalization and self-detachment are the third most common psychological and psychiatric symptoms (after anxiety and low mood) following severe stress, traumatic life events or drug use, especially amongst young people. Yet, despite its high prevalence in the general population, the impact of this phenomenon is still poorly understood and relatively understudied.


In this interdisciplinary Research Topic, we aim to bring together conceptual, empirical and performative arts resources from philosophy, science and arts exploring the relationship between (dis)embodiment, self-consciousness and social (dis)connectedness. We particularly encourage interdisciplinary submissions, as we believe that complex psychological phenomena (such a disrupted sense of self and disembodiment) are best tackled from a highly interdisciplinary perspective.


We welcome submissions of original research, review papers, and perspective papers from arts, science and philosophy that fall within the following (broad) categories:

1) the impact of (dis)embodiment and self-detachment on self-other (dis)connectedness;

2) the effect of body-based and dynamic approaches in tackling (dis)embodiment, self-detachment and social alienation;

3) the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to develop generative models of the brain or behavioural data addressing self-detachment phenomena in both clinical and non-clinical population





Photo credits: © Alejandro Galvez-Pol


Keywords: (Dis)Embodiment, Self-Awareness, Social Interaction, Intersubjectivity, Art-based and Body Psychotherapy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 September 2019 Abstract
30 December 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 September 2019 Abstract
30 December 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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