Multiple brain networks may support visual self-recognition. It has been hypothesized that the left ventral occipito-temporal cortex processes one's own face as a symbol, and the right parieto-frontal network processes self-image in association with motion-action contingency. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we first tested these hypotheses based on the prediction that these networks preferentially respond to a static self-face and to moving one's whole body, respectively. Brain activation specifically related to self-image during familiarity judgment was compared across four stimulus conditions comprising a two factorial design: factor Motion contrasted picture (Picture) and movie (Movie), and factor Body part a face (Face) and whole body (Body). Second, we attempted to segregate self-specific networks using a principal component analysis (PCA), assuming an independent pattern of inter-subject variability in activation over the four stimulus conditions in each network. The bilateral ventral occipito-temporal and the right parietal and frontal cortices exhibited self-specific activation. The left ventral occipito-temporal cortex exhibited greater self-specific activation for Face than for Body, in Picture, consistent with the prediction for this region. The activation profiles of the right parietal and frontal cortices did not show preference for Movie Body predicted by the assumed roles of these regions. The PCA extracted two cortical networks, one with its peaks in the right posterior, and another in frontal cortices; their possible roles in visuo-spatial and conceptual self-representations, respectively, were suggested by previous findings. The results thus supported and provided evidence of multiple brain networks for visual self-recognition. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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