The Insular Cortex

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The Insular Cortex

  1. 1. Insular cortex<br />By ShuangShuangHu and Kyu Hwang<br />
  2. 2. What is it?<br />is located between the temporal lobe and parietal lobe<br />is connected to the experience of emotions, the processing of tastes, the memory of procedures, the control of motor responses and interpersonal behaviour. <br />negative emotions activate in this region. <br />
  3. 3. The insular cortex comprises two main sections: the anterior and posterior regions <br />AIC = the anterior insular cortex<br />PIC= the posterior insular cortex<br />Tasks:<br />Such as:<br />-motor tasks<br />-amygdale activation<br />-social emotions<br />-language<br />-interceptive awareness<br />Tasks:<br />Such as:<br />-time and decision making<br />-is related more to auditory function<br />*perform a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions.<br />
  4. 4. Functions:<br />Risky decision making<br />Anxiety and neuroticism<br />Interoceptive awareness<br />Motor control<br />Homeostasis<br />Self<br />Social emotions<br />Emotions<br />Salience<br />
  5. 5. Study 1:Antonio Damasio’s“Choosing between the indistinguishable” study(2005)<br />Aim: To determine, whether a person can have the preference for one taste over another without being able to distinguish between the two.<br />Participants: Patient B, suffered from damage to the insular-cortex and a controlled patient (without damage to the insular-cortex)<br />Procedure: <br />Asked them to taste 38 drinks in succession (each drink was either a mixture of salt and water – “disgusting”, or sugar and water – “nice”), presented in random orders.<br />Results:<br />
  6. 6. Continuing…<br />Procedure:<br />Presented two drinks at a time: the salt drink and the sugar drink side by side.<br />Patient B was asked to sip each and then to drink the one he preferred.<br />On 19th trials, he chose the sugar drink.<br />Findings:<br />“The taste comparison likely provides patient B with an overt feeling that he would rather drink one solution than another, without any over knowledge of the taste experiences that would normally provide justification for this preference”<br />
  7. 7. Study 2: Nicolas Danziger & colleagues“The empathic powers of those who can’t feel pain” study(2009) <br />Aim: To see if patients with the inability to feel pain in real life can feel it vicariously<br />Participants:<br />13 patients with the inability to feel pain<br />13 healthy controls<br />Procedure:<br />Participants had their brains scanned while they viewed videos of body parts being injured and people’s painful facial expressions.<br />Results:<br />Even though the patients had never felt pain themselves, the sight of other people’s pain triggered activity in the insular of their brains.<br />Findings:<br />Activity in insular cortex may reflect processing of the aversive emotional significance of what the patients were witnessing.<br />Insular cortex is associated with psychological pain, induced by social exclusion or grief.<br />
  8. 8. Study 3: Romantic Rejection Stimulates Areas of Brain Involved in Motivation, Reward and Addiction(2010)<br />conducted by Fisher & Brown & others<br />Aim: <br />- to see if the pain of rejection by a romantic partner is related to brain activity associated with motivation, reward and addiction craving.<br />Procedure: <br />- researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to<br />record brain activity in 15 college-age, men and women who had recently been rejected by their partners but reported that they were still in love. <br />- participants were asked to take the Passionate Love Scale test. All participants scored high on the test. They said they spent more than 85% of their waking hours thinking of the person who rejected them.<br />- participants viewed a photograph of their former partners. Then they completed a simple math exercise to distract them from their thoughts. Finally, they viewed a photograph of a familiar "neutral" person. <br />
  9. 9. Results:<br />While looking at the pictures of their formerpartners:<br />It stimulated several key areas of the participants’ brains more than looking at photos of neutral people.<br />The areas :<br />- the ventral tegmental area <br /> -the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex<br /> -the insular cortex and the anterior cingulate<br />
  10. 10. Findings:<br />romantic rejection is a specific form of addiction <br />why the beloved is so difficult to give up<br />why feelings related to romantic rejection can be hard to control<br />a insight into extreme behaviors associated with rejection<br />the pain of rejection by a romantic partner may be the result of activity in parts of the brain associated with motivation, reward and addiction cravings<br />
  11. 11. Dysfunctions:<br />Mood disorders<br />Panic disorders<br />PTSD<br />Obsessive-compulsive disorders<br />Eating disorders<br />Schizophrenia<br />
  12. 12. THANK YOU<br />

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