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Cereb Cortex. 2010 Jun;20(6):1448-61. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhp208. Epub 2009 Oct 12.

Cytoarchitecture and probabilistic maps of the human posterior insular cortex.

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C & O Vogt Institute of Brain Research, University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.


The human posterior insula was shown to respond to a wide variety of stimulation paradigms (e.g. pain, somatosensory, or auditory processing) in functional imaging experiments. Although various anatomical maps of this region have been published over the last century, these schemes show variable results. Moreover, none can directly be integrated with functional imaging data. Hence, our current knowledge about the structure-function relationships in this region remains limited. We therefore remapped the posterior part of the human insular cortex in 10 postmortem brains using an observer-independent approach. This analysis revealed the existence of 3 cytoarchitectonically distinct areas in the posterior insula. The examined brains were then 3D reconstructed and spatially normalized to the Montreal Neurological Institute single-subject template. Probabilistic maps for each area were calculated by superimposing the individual delineations, and a cytoarchitectonic summary map was computed to chart the regional architectonic organization. These maps can be used to identify the anatomical correlates of functional activations observed in neuroimaging studies and to understand the microstructural correlates of the functional segregation of the human posterior insula.

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