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Neural systems supporting interoceptive awareness.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2004 (English)In: Nat Neurosci, ISSN 1097-6256, Vol. 7, no 2, 189-95 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Influential theories of human emotion argue that subjective feeling states involve representation of bodily responses elicited by emotional events. Within this framework, individual differences in intensity of emotional experience reflect variation in sensitivity to internal bodily responses. We measured regional brain activity by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during an interoceptive task wherein subjects judged the timing of their own heartbeats. We observed enhanced activity in insula, somatomotor and cingulate cortices. In right anterior insular/opercular cortex, neural activity predicted subjects' accuracy in the heartbeat detection task. Furthermore, local gray matter volume in the same region correlated with both interoceptive accuracy and subjective ratings of visceral awareness. Indices of negative emotional experience correlated with interoceptive accuracy across subjects. These findings indicate that right anterior insula supports a representation of visceral responses accessible to awareness, providing a substrate for subjective feeling states.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 7, no 2, 189-95 p.
Keyword [en]
Acoustic Stimulation, Awareness/*physiology, Brain/*physiology, Brain Mapping, Emotions/*physiology, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19272PubMedID: 14730305OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-19272DiVA: diva2:185796
Available from: 2008-01-15 Created: 2008-01-15 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved

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