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Activation of the brain's putative retinoid system has been proposed as the neuronal substrate for our basic sense of being centred within a volumetric surround -- our minimal phenomenal consciousness (Trehub, 2007). Here, the assumed properties of the self-locus within the retinoid model are shown to explain recent experimental findings relating to the out-of-body experience. In addition, selective excursion of the heuristic self-locus is able to explain many important functions of consciousness, including the effective internal representation of a 3D space on the basis of 2D perspective depictions. Our sense of self-agency is shown to be a natural product of the role of the heuristic self-locus in the retinoid mechanism.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA, Email:

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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