Whether you read your name written on a piece of paper, you hear it, or you look at yourself in the mirror, it does not matter, you know it is you. Thus, apart from stimulus-specific representations of your own name, face, or body, your brain must represent the self also in an abstract manner, across sensory modalities. Can these perceptual and abstract components of the neural self-representation be dissociated?
We found that electrophysiological brain activity was initially different during looking at one's own name and face, but after around 300 ms this activity became almost indistinguishable. Thus, the perceptual self-representations were activated prior to the abstract self-representation, and it took the brain around 300 ms to access the latter. In another study, we found that brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex was similar when the participants read or heard their own names, which suggests that this brain region is involved in the abstract (cross-modal) representation of self-concept.
Tacikowski, P., & Nowicka, A. (2010). Allocation of attention to self-name and self-face: An ERP study. Biological Psychology, 84, 318-324. PDF
Tacikowski, P., Brechmann, A., Nowicka, A. (2013). Cross-modal pattern of brain activations associated with the processing of self- and significant other’s name. Human Brain Mapping, 34:2069–2077. PDF