The self-trait evaluation task: Exodus from the cortical midline structure dogma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The self-trait evaluation (STE) task, typically a self-descriptiveness judgment on a personality trait adjective, was initially introduced into cognitive neuroscience to address the memory enhancement effect of the self-referential (SR) process. It has now become a standard paradigm in a variety of basic psychological and clinical fields relevant to the SR process. A decade of neuroimaging research using the STE task was, however, influenced by the cortical midline structure (CMS) dogma, which oversimplified the known involvement of the CMS in the SR process to an exclusive structure-function relationship. The meta-analysis included in this chapter demonstrates that activation outside the CMS also seems to be sensitive to various task, stimulus, and participant factors of the STE task as follows: the lateral prefrontal cortex is sensitive to mental disorders, the lateral social- and body-related regions are sensitive to self-relatedness, and the body-related and visual areas are sensitive to psychological adaptation and aging. Future exploration of such variant components of the SR process over the entire cortex is warranted to enrich our cognitive neuroscientific knowledge of this process, in addition to its related psychological and clinical phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMemory in a Social Context
Subtitle of host publicationBrain, Mind, and Society
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9784431565918
ISBN (Print)9784431565895
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortical midline structures
  • Culture
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Self
  • Self-evaluation
  • Self-reference
  • Social evaluation
  • Social value
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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