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Abstract: All cognitive agents are made of parts. In biology, those parts are themselves highly competent. How do diverse components work together to implement compound agents with goals, preferences, and memories that belong to the collective but not to the individual parts? We have been working on a framework for understanding the origin and scaling of cognitive Selves, using a range of computational modeling and empirical studies in traditional (evolved species), computational, and unconventional (synthetic organisms) models. In this talk, I will describe our conceptual approach to understanding how a wide range of minds occur in highly diverse bodies. I will use our work on bioelectrical pattern memories during morphogenesis and our new synthetic organisms to illustrate key concepts that we think have important implications for evolutionary developmental biology, regenerative medicine, robotics/AI, exo-biology, Alife, and cognitive science.