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Re-cognizing the new self: The neurocognitive plasticity of self-processing following facial transplantation.

Azevedo, Ruben T., Diaz-Siso, J Rodrigo, Alfonso, Allyson R, Ramly, Elie P, Kantar, Rami S, Berman, Zoe P, Diep, Gustave K, Rifkin, William J, Rodriguez, Eduardo D, Tsakiris, Manos and others. (2023) Re-cognizing the new self: The neurocognitive plasticity of self-processing following facial transplantation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120 (14). Article Number e221196612. ISSN 0027-8424. E-ISSN 1091-6490. (doi:10.1073/pnas.2211966120) (KAR id:100819)


The face is a defining feature of our individuality, crucial for our social interactions. But what happens when the face connected to the self is radically altered or replaced? We address the plasticity of self-face recognition in the context of facial transplantation. While the of a new face following facial transplantation is a medical fact, the of a new identity is an unexplored psychological outcome. We traced the changes in self-face recognition before and after facial transplantation to understand if and how the transplanted face gradually comes to be perceived and recognized as the recipient's own new face. Neurobehavioral evidence documents a strong representation of the pre-injury appearance pre-operatively, while following the transplantation, the recipient incorporates the new face into his self-identity. The acquisition of this new facial identity is supported by neural activity in medial frontal regions that are considered to integrate psychological and perceptual aspects of the self.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1073/pnas.2211966120
Uncontrolled keywords: self identity, Face, facial transplantation, Facial Transplantation, Facial Expression, Individuality, face, self-recognition, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Facial Recognition
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Funders: European Union (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2023 10:14 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 09:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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