Self-Representation and Brain Development

Michael Lewis, Dennis P. Carmody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This study examined the relation between self-representation and brain development in infants and young children. Self-representation was assessed by mirror recognition, personal pronoun use, and pretend play. Structural brain images were obtained from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Brain development was assessed by a quantitative measure of maturation of the temporo-parietal junction, temporal pole, medial frontal cortex, and occipital cortex. Fifteen children (15 to 30 months of age; 3 girls) without MRI abnormalities were assessed. Only maturation of the left temporo-parietal junction was related to self-representation after controlling for age. These findings provide some evidence that brain maturation is related to the emergence of a representation of self in the human child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1329-1334
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • myelination
  • self-representation


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