Thursday Apr 20, 2023

Time matters - the self and its continuity. Georg Northoff.

Our self is always there and present throughout our whole life. Despite the many social, environmental and ecological changes as well as the major bodily changes, our self remains one and the same throughout the changes of our life. Where and how is the temporal continuity of our self coming from?


Georg Northoff is a philosopher, neuroscientist and psychiatrist, holding degrees in all three disciplines. He works in Ottawa/Canada holding a Canada Research Chair for Mind, Brain Imaging, and Neuroethics. His research focuses on the relationship between brain and mind. The question driving him is: “why and how can our brain construct mental features like self, consciousness, etc.”  His approach to this complex answer is as unique as it is simple: he proposes that the brain’s constitutes its own inner time and space which, if properly aligned to and synchronized with the world’s outer time and space, will yield mental features like self and consciousness.  This led him to develop a spatiotemporal theory of brain-mind relationship in all three fields, neuroscience, psychiatry and philosophy.

He is one of the leading figures in linking philosophy, psychiatry, and neuroscience having developed non-reductive neurophilosophy. He authored over 300 journal articles and 18 books in neuroscience, psychiatry and philosophy which are translated into several languages including “Neuro-philosophy and the Healthy Mind” (2016) Norton Publisher, and “Neurowaves"  (McGill University Press 2023) and "Neuropsychoanalysis, an introduction" (Routledge 2023).


This episode is available also in German


All papers etc, can be found on the website:

See recent Podcast for broader audience:



Spagnolo R, Northoff G (2022) The dynamic self in psychoanalysis. Routledge

Northoff G (2023) Neuropsychoanalysis. An introduction. Routledge publisher

Northoff G (2023) Neurowaves. Brain, time and consciousness. McGill University Press

Northoff G, Scalabrini A. (2021) "Project for a Spatiotemporal Neuroscience" - Brain and Psyche Share Their Topography and Dynamic.

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