Self-other distinction

Tslil Simantov, Michael Lombardo, Simon Baron-Cohen, Florina Uzefovsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Social communication depends on our ability to understand others' emotions, motives, and intentions. In order to understand others' experiences accurately, we often rely on our own experiences. But, complete reliance on own experiences leads to inaccurate and biased interpretation of others' behaviors. Therefore, a mechanism which allows to differentiate between our own experiences and thoughts is needed. Self-other distinction is crucial for accurate understanding of others. In the first section of this chapter, we review findings emphasizing the role of self-other distinction across sensory, cognitive, and emotional domains in social communication. We discuss the neurobiological basis for self-other distinction, and how it is affected by stress. Finally, we focus on autism, a condition characterized by difficulties in the social domain. We review findings implicating deficits in self-other distinction in the social communication difficulties typically observed in autism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Neural Basis of Mentalizing
EditorsMichael Gilead, Kevin N. Ochsner
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030518905
ISBN (Print)9783030518899
StatePublished - 12 May 2021


  • Autism
  • Cognition
  • Emotion
  • Empathy
  • FMRI
  • Neurobiology
  • Self
  • Self-other distinction
  • Social communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Medicine (all)
  • Neuroscience (all)


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