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Finding the Vanished Self: Perspective Modulates Neural Substrates of Self-Reflection in Buddhists.

08:00 EDT 9th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Finding the Vanished Self: Perspective Modulates Neural Substrates of Self-Reflection in Buddhists."

Asians' self-views are flexible and influenced by short-term situational and long-term cultural factors. Due to the long-term religious cultural influence of Chinese Buddhism, Buddhists showed no self-advantage in behavioral and neural level in many previous studies. However, it is unclear whether Chinese Buddhists really have no self-awareness or self-concept. The beliefs of illusionary self and thinking of others first might suggest that the self of Buddhists comes from others' perspective. The present study examined the self of Buddhists in first- and third-person perspective through the self-referential processing paradigm, comparing the behavioral and neural difference when they make self-, friend- and famous-judgment. The behavioral data showed that there were no different recognition ratios between self-, friend-, and famous-processing for participants in first- and third-person perspective. However, the neural results showed that people in third-person perspective group showed significant difference between self- and famous-processing in ventral medial prefrontal cortex, whereas people in first-person perspective group did not show any significant difference in activation between self-, friend-, and famous-processing in these regions. These findings suggested that Buddhists have self-referential processing only in third-person perspective, not in first-person perspective. This study provides neuroimaging evidence for the influence of perspective on Buddhists' self-reflection, and provide empirical evidence supporting and extending culture as situated cognition model of Asia by considering perspective factor.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Neuroscience letters
ISSN: 1872-7972
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