Neural mechanism for mirrored self-face recognition

Motoaki Sugiura, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Yuka Kotozaki, Yoritaka Akimoto, Takayuki Nozawa, Yukihito Yomogida, Sugiko Hanawa, Yuki Yamamoto, Atsushi Sakuma, Seishu Nakagawa, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Self-face recognition in the mirror is considered to involve multiple processes that integrate 2 perceptual cues: temporal contingency of the visual feedback on one's action (contingency cue) and matching with self-face representation in long-term memory (figurative cue). The aim of this study was to examine the neural bases of these processes by manipulating 2 perceptual cues using a "virtual mirror" system. This system allowed online dynamic presentations of realtime and delayed self-or other facial actions. Perception-level processes were identified as responses to only a single perceptual cue. The effect of the contingency cue was identified in the cuneus. The regions sensitive to the figurative cue were subdivided by the response to a static self-face, which was identified in the right temporal, parietal, and frontal regions, but not in the bilateral occipitoparietal regions. Semantic-or integration-level processes, including amodal self-representation and belief validation, which allow modality-independent self-recognition and the resolution of potential conflicts between perceptual cues, respectively, were identified in distinct regions in the right frontal and insular cortices. The results are supportive of the multicomponent notion of self-recognition and suggest a critical role for contingency detection in the co-emergence of self-recognition and empathy in infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2806-2814
Number of pages9
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 1


  • Contingency
  • FMRI
  • Face
  • Recognition
  • Self

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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