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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has begun to narrow down the neural correlates of self-generated forms of thought, with current evidence pointing toward central roles for the default, frontoparietal, and visual networks. Recent work has linked the arising of thoughts more specifically to default network activity, but the limited temporal resolution of fMRI has precluded more detailed conclusions about where in the brain self-created mental content is generated and how this is achieved. This chapter argues that the unparalleled spatiotemporal resolution of intracranial electrophysiology (iEEG) in human epilepsy patients can begin to provide answers to questions about the specific neural origins of self-generated thought. The chapter reviews the extensive body of literature from iEEG studies over the past few decades and shows that many studies involving passive recording or direct electrical stimulation throughout the brain point to the medial temporal lobe as a key site of thought-generation.

Keywords: self-generated thought, functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, medial temporal lobe, default network, intracranial electrophysiology, iEEG

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