Cross-modal pattern of brain activations associated with the processing of self- and significant other's name


Correspondence to: Pawel Tacikowski, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Department of Neurophysiology, Laboratory of Psychophysiology, 3 Pasteur Street, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland. E-mail:


Previous neuroimaging studies have shown that the patterns of brain activity during the processing of personally relevant names (e.g., own name, friend's name, partner's name, etc.) and the names of famous people (e.g., celebrities) are different. However, it is not known how the activity in this network is influenced by the modality of the presented stimuli. In this fMRI study, we investigated the pattern of brain activations during the recognition of aurally and visually presented full names of the subject, a significant other, a famous person and unknown individuals. In both modalities, we found that the processing of self-name and the significant other's name was associated with increased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). Acoustic presentations of these names also activated bilateral inferior frontal gyri (IFG). This pattern of results supports the role of MPFC in the processing of personally relevant information, irrespective of their modality. Hum Brain Mapp 34:2069–2077, 2013. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.