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Wayne L. Klein, PhD

Neuropsychological Assessment of Children & Adults; Couples & Individual Psychotherapy Offices in Franklin, MA & Spaulding Center for Children, Sandwich, MA
About Dr. Klein
Children and Adolescents
Learning Disabilities
Improving Academics
Self Control
Head Injury
Lifestyle Medicine
Autism, Asperger's & PDD
Explore Neuropsychology
Online Tests
Animal Intelligence
Brain Evolution
How the Mind/Brain Works
Human Evolution
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Alterations of the physical experience of self are easily created using virtual reality as demonstrated in this short VIDEO (opens in new window). Right hemisphere stroke often results in loss of awareness of the right side of the body. Following amputation, phantom limbs and - tragically - phantom pain, are often experienced. As these examples demonstrate, the mind/brain constantly generates the experience of self. The incredible flexibility of human somatic self-perception allows man and spear, rock, hammer or machine to "become one." Incorporation of a tool into the body schema presumably allows for much greater mastery of the tool.

There is even greater flexibility in the psychological experience of self. Psychological self is experienced differently at different times and probably very different in different cultures. It is hypothesized that experience of self occurs in working consciousness or working memory. That is, the self construct is reconstructed from long term memory in interaction with the experience of the moment. In a sense (a limited sense), momentary experience emerges from long-term memory. In this sense, the description of dementia as the slow death of the self has some validity.

Observers from very diverse perspectives (William James, Buddhism, behaviorists studying delay of gratification) have noted the changing nature of self. It is argued that self has a lifespan of about as long as working memory, about 2 seconds. From this perspective, self is a process, not a thing.
Metzinger lecture at UC Berkeley Also see the article Self Models

Personality Project (resources for personality research)