Special Issue "The Neural Correlates of Self-Awareness and Self-Knowing"

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Neuropsychology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 October 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Julian Keenan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Science Hall 207, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
Interests: evolution; self-awareness; self-face recognition; evolutionary biology; neuroimaging; higher-order cognition; consciousness; TMS

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the gifts of the neuroimaging revolution was the ability to investigate cognitive states and abilities that were inaccessible for the entirety of history. Foremost of these was the ability to reflect on aspects of consciousness, including self-awareness and self-knowing. From the ancient philosophers and religious prophets to modern Nobel prize winners, attempting to know the origins, processes, and physical ‘location’ of the self has befuddled and challenged great thinkers for centuries. No philosophical question has gained more from recent advances in technology than ‘who, what, or where am I?’. From case studies to optogenetics to neuroimaging applied to both humans and non-human animals, ‘The Neural Correlates of Self-Awareness and Self-Knowing’ will focus on self-directed thought in different neuroscience disciplines. Evolution, genetics (molecular and behavioral), traditional neuroimaging, and neurophilosophy are all encouraged.

We are now in a state of both measuring and manipulating single neurons in mammalian nervous systems. We are now seriously exploring psilocybin in humans and the influence it may have on the inner psyche. We are now examining DNA methyltransferase and histone modification in terms of higher-order cognition. We are coming ever closer to answering the questions of ‘who, what, where am I?’.

Is the self exclusive to mammals? Ornithologists and entomologists might take issue with this historical notion, as self-recognition findings and social behavior examinations appear to indicate otherwise. Can a simple, 100-million-year-old nervous system be capable of what we thought needed billions of neurons and altricial development?

Original reports (both full length and brief reports) and reviews are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Julian Keenan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Brain Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • self-awareness
  • self-knowing
  • neuroimaging
  • higher-order cognition
  • fMRI
  • MRI
  • consciousness
  • TMS
  • neurophilosophy
  • meta-cognition

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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