Self-consciousness is neuronally associated with the brain's default mode network as its “neuronal baseline” while, psychologically the self is characterized by different thought modes and dynamics. We here raise the question whether they reflect the “psychological baseline” of the self. We investigate the psychological relationship of the self with thought modes (rumination, reflection) and mind-wandering dynamics (spontaneous, deliberate), as well as with depressive symptomatology. Our findings show a relationship between self-consciousness and i) mind-wandering dynamics, and ii) thought functional modes, in their respective forms. At the same time, self-consciousness is more related to spontaneous mind-wandering than deliberate and to rumination than reflection. Furthermore, iii) rumination acts as a mediator between self-consciousness and spontaneous mind-wandering dynamics; and iv) the relationship between high levels of self-consciousness and depressive symptoms is mediated by ruminative modes and spontaneous mind-wandering dynamics. Together, these findings support the view of the self as “psychological baseline”.
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