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In a recent article in this journal, Glyn Humphreys and I proposed a model of how self-reference enhances binding in perception and cognition [1]. We showed that self-reference changes particular functional processes; notably, self-reference increases binding between the features of stimuli and between different stages of processing. Lane and colleagues [2] provide an interesting comment on our article that suggests our theory of self-reference is compatible with Dennett's philosophical perspective on the narrative nature of the self. Although the nature of the self has attracted the attention of both philosophers and scientists, the two disciplines have generated different perspectives on the functions of the self, largely due to their different methodologies. For example, Dennett argues that the self is constituted through human narration on experience [3]. By contrast, work from psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists focuses on the functional and neural mechanisms of self-reference.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Cogn Sci

Publication Date





482 - 483


Attention, Cognition, Humans, Narration, Perception