IMR Press / JIN / Volume 22 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin2201023
Open Access Opinion
Contemplating on the Nature of Selfhood in DoC Patients: Neurophenomenological Perspective
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1 BM-Science – Brain and Mind Technologies Research Centre, 02601 Espoo, Finland
*Correspondence: (Andrew A. Fingelkurts)
Academic Editors: Sergio Bagnato and Gernot Riedel
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2023, 22(1), 23;
Submitted: 18 August 2022 | Revised: 17 October 2022 | Accepted: 25 October 2022 | Published: 17 January 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disorders of Consciousness: From Pathophysiology to Treatment)
Copyright: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Medical well-regarded policy recommendations for patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC) are almost exclusively relied on behavioural examination and evaluation of higher-order cognition, and largely disregard the patients’ self. This is so because practically establishing the presence of self-awareness or Selfhood is even more challenging than evaluating the presence of consciousness. At the same time, establishing the potential (actual physical possibility) of Selfhood in DoC patients is crucialy important from clinical, ethical, and moral standpoints because Selfhood is the most central and private evidence of being an independent and free agent that unites intention, embodiment, executive functions, attention, general intelligence, emotions and other components within the intra-subjective frame (first-person givenness). The importance of Selfhood is supported further by the observation that rebooting of self-awareness is the first step to recovery after brain damage. It seems that complex experiential Selfhood can be plausibly conceptualized within the Operational Architectonics (OA) of brain-mind functioning and reliably measured by quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) operational synchrony.

disorders of consciousness (DoC)
quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG)
first-person givenness
operational synchrony
vegetative state (VS)
minimally conscious state (MCS)
unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS)
Fig. 1.
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