What is human self? Some argue that there is no such thing as self. However, the subjective feeling that "I am writing these words" makes it hard to deny the existence of the self. We assume that as long as there the term "self," there must be some collection of neural networks that represents the concept of the term. Although the whole picture is still a mystery, we have taken a step forward to unraveling the mystery by introducing the idea that "the emergence of a new behavior that prioritizes the body underlies rise of the self." When performing imitation behavior, a person can encounter a situation in which he feels pain and tries to avoid it. In this instance, the person engages in two types of behavior almost simultaneously, which are in conflict with each other. Also in this instance, it is assumed that the person gives priority to the safety of his own body and reflexively chooses to respond with avoidance behavior. However, as the imitation behavior continues, the process of imitation and avoidance is repeated many times, making it increasingly difficult to ensure the safety of the body. To address this scenario, we have come up with an idea that enables a conscious system to generate a new rational behavior-that is, voluntarily stop the imitation behavior. We consider that the generation of this new behavior is a significant process that can explain the first step for the development of the self.
Arai, K., & Takeno, J. (2018). Discussion on the rise of the self in a conscious system. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 123, pp. 29–34). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2018.01.006