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Anterior insular cortex and emotional awareness.

Gu, X; Hof, PR; Friston, KJ; Fan, J; (2013) Anterior insular cortex and emotional awareness. J Comp Neurol , 5214 (5) pp. 3371-3388. 10.1002/cne.23368. Green open access

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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. J. Comp. Neurol., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Type: Article
Title: Anterior insular cortex and emotional awareness.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/cne.23368
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cne.23368
Additional information: © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Full text made available to UCL Discovery by kind permission of Wiley.
Keywords: anterior insular cortex; emotional awareness; empathy; fMRI; meta-analysis; top-down; bottomup; predictive coding;
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1396468
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