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We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess whether self-construal priming can change adults' self-awareness induced during face perception. After reading essays containing independent or interdependent pronouns (e.g., I or we), participants were scanned while judging the head orientation of images showing their own and familiar faces. Neural activity in the right middle frontal cortex was greater when participants viewed their own rather than familiar faces, and this difference was larger after independent than after interdependent self-construal priming. The increased right frontal activity for participants' own faces relative to familiar faces was associated with faster responses. Our findings suggest that the neural correlates of self-awareness associated with recognition of one's own face can be modulated by self-construal priming in human adults.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychol Sci

Publication Date





861 - 866


Adult, Awareness, Brain, Brain Mapping, Cues, Dominance, Cerebral, Face, Female, Frontal Lobe, Functional Laterality, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Judgment, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neural Pathways, Orientation, Reaction Time, Recognition (Psychology), Self Concept, Visual Perception