University of Tasmania
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Dynamical relations in the self-pattern

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 05:09 authored by Gallagher, S, Anya DalyAnya Daly
The notion of a self-pattern, as developed in the pattern theory of self (Gallagher, 2013), which holds that the self is best explained in terms of the kind of reality that pertains to a dynamical pattern, acknowledges the importance of neural dynamics, but also expands the account of self to extra-neural (embodied and enactive) dynamics. The pattern theory of self, however, has been criticized for failing to explicate the dynamical relations among elements of the self-pattern (e.g., Kyselo, 2014; Beni, 2016; de Haan et al., 2017); as such, it seems to be nothing more than a mere list of elements. We’ll argue that the dynamics of a self-pattern are reflected in three significant and interrelated ways that allow for investigation. First, a self-pattern is reflectively reiterated in its narrative component. Second, studies of psychiatric or neurological disorders can help us understand the precise nature of the dynamical relations in a self-pattern, and how they can fail. Third, referencing predictive processing accounts, neuroscience can also help to explicate the dynamical relations that constitute the self-pattern.


Publication title

Frontiers in Psychology



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School of Humanities


Frontiers Research Foundation

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© 2018. Gallagher and Daly. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health; Expanding knowledge in psychology