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Nat Neurosci. 2009 Dec;12(12):1494-6. doi: 10.1038/nn.2411. Epub 2009 Nov 1.

The pathways of interoceptive awareness.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology and Neuroscience Program, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA. skhalsa@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

A network of cortical brain regions, including the insula and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), has been proposed as the critical and sole substrate for interoceptive awareness. Combining lesion and pharmacological approaches in humans, we found that the insula and ACC were not critical for awareness of heartbeat sensations. Instead, this awareness was mediated by both somatosensory afferents from the skin and a network that included the insula and ACC. Together, these pathways enable the core human experience of the cardiovascular state of the body.

PMID:
19881506
PMCID:
PMC2787640
DOI:
10.1038/nn.2411
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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