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Gallese, V. (2013). Bodily Self, Affect, Consciousness, and the Cortex. Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(1):42-45.

(2013). Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(1):42-45

Bodily Self, Affect, Consciousness, and the Cortex Related Papers

Commentary by Vittorio Gallese

Mark Solms's hypothesis holds that two main body representations are housed in the brain: the sensorimotor body and the autonomic body. These two body representations would be associated with two different types of consciousness: cognitive consciousness and affective consciousness, respectively. According to Solms, cognitive consciousness is secondary and depends on the primary, brainstem-located, affective consciousness. The consequence of this is that Freud's id would be conscious, while the ego would be unconscious. In my commentary, while praising Solms for his emphasis on the inseparable relation between affect and consciousness, I challenge his rigidly dichotomous account of consciousness. In so doing, I vindicate the role played by the cortex and, in particular, the cortical motor system in generating the varieties of phenomenal self-awareness we entertain.

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