Explorations into the Neurological Basis of our Sense of Self


  • Anton Lethin




periaqueductal, covert, gamma, facilitation, somatosensory


The sense of self as a covert agent is a key component to the sense of self. This paper focuses on covert action as a preparation to interact. This activates the entire motor system, including the gamma motoneurons innervating the muscle spindles. The proprioceptive stimulation is fed back to the network of origin, contributing to a sense of self as generating the covert activity. A study of motivated behavior in the rat is presented to clarify how the motivation potentiates actions in the body. This is set into Panksepp’s subcortical action system of emotional circuits, where the motivation arises. This sets the motor tone for the planned action. This picture is interpreted with Ellis’s and Newton’s model portraying how emotional motivation can lead to phenomenal consciousness. It is proposed that no motor imagery occurs without involving the body. The higher levels of awareness depend on the subcortical bodily intentionality.

Author Biography

Anton Lethin

Anton Lethin has been a research fellow in neurophysiology at Yale, an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and a Bioenergetics mind-body therapist. He has published articles on a variety of topics including physiology, emotion, and embodied intentionality.
129-153 36160


How to Cite

Lethin, A. (2022). Explorations into the Neurological Basis of our Sense of Self. Bioenergetic Analysis, 16(1), 129–153. https://doi.org/10.30820/0743-4804-2006-16-129