Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Comp Neurol. 2013 Oct 15;521(15):3371-88. doi: 10.1002/cne.23368.

Anterior insular cortex and emotional awareness.

Author information

1
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 3BG; Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke, Virginia, 24011.

Abstract

This paper reviews the foundation for a role of the human anterior insular cortex (AIC) in emotional awareness, defined as the conscious experience of emotions. We first introduce the neuroanatomical features of AIC and existing findings on emotional awareness. Using empathy, the awareness and understanding of other people's emotional states, as a test case, we then present evidence to demonstrate: 1) AIC and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) are commonly coactivated as revealed by a meta-analysis, 2) AIC is functionally dissociable from ACC, 3) AIC integrates stimulus-driven and top-down information, and 4) AIC is necessary for emotional awareness. We propose a model in which AIC serves two major functions: integrating bottom-up interoceptive signals with top-down predictions to generate a current awareness state and providing descending predictions to visceral systems that provide a point of reference for autonomic reflexes. We argue that AIC is critical and necessary for emotional awareness.

KEYWORDS:

anterior insular cortex; bottom-up; emotional awareness; empathy; fMRI; meta-analysis; predictive coding; top-down

PMID:
23749500
PMCID:
PMC3999437
DOI:
10.1002/cne.23368
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center