Unrealistic representations of "the self": A cognitive neuroscience assessment of anosognosia for memory deficit

Manuela Berlingeri, Alessandra Ravasio, Silvia Cranna, Stefania Basilico, Maurizio Sberna, Gabriella Bottini, Eraldo Paulesu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three cognitive components may play a crucial role in both memory awareness and in anosognosia for memory deficit (AMD): (1) a personal data base (PDB), i.e., a memory store that contains "semantic" representations about the self, (2) monitoring processes (MPs) and (3) an explicit evaluation system (EES), or comparator, that assesses and binds the representations stored in the PDB with information obtained from the environment. We compared both the behavior and the functional connectivity (as assessed by resting-state fMRI) of AMD patients with aware patients and healthy controls. We found that AMD is associated with an impoverished PDB, while MPs are necessary to successfully update the PDB.AMD was associated with reduced functional connectivity within both the default-mode network and in a network that includes the left lateral temporal cortex, the hippocampus and the insula. The reduced connectivity between the hippocampus and the insular cortex was correlated with AMD severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-177
Number of pages18
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Anosognosia for memory deficit
  • Default mode network
  • Default-self
  • Functional connectivity
  • Hippocampus
  • Insula
  • Monitoring processes
  • Personal data base
  • Self-evaluation scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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