Another Recap. Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 15

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In the previous posts we looked at the possibility that GABA receptors are linked to anxiety through an ancient evolutionary mechanism which facilitates movement. More precisely the GABA receptors in a distant relative – the Nematode worm (C.Elegans) relax opposing muscles enabling the worm to move in the necessary direction.

In prior posts we looked at various models of the emotions as shown in the diagram below.

A Model of the Insular Cortex

The intention in building a model of the Insular Cortex is to suggest realistically how the neurobiology of the Insular Cortex can play a role in emotional experiences. To do this it is necessary to integrate a theoretical understanding of emotions with the neurobiology of the Insular Cortex and validate this with our intuitive understanding of emotional experiences.

Craig has given a very good account of how the Insular Cortex might play a role both in conscious awareness and in emotional experience and I intend to revisit his work. However it is also necessary to contextualise this in the broader understanding of emotions which I have not yet examined in any detail.

Although the emotions are understood intuitively there is a significant body of theory knowledge also. For instance ‘The Handbook of Emotional Regulation’ (Gross, 2007) is over 650 pages in length and significant research findings continue to emerge each month. Clearly there is a practical limit to how much knowledge can be incorporated into a model and therefore decisions around what to exclude are just as important as the model itself.

In summarising the material to date, the Insular Cortex receives interoceptive information (i.e information about the body’s internal state). This may be important in helping us to feel an awareness of our body. This awareness may be key to our conscious experience and more specifically to some of our emotional states.

This occurs in a wider context of other models of emotions. The Limbic circuit is a brain circuit with ancient evolutionary connections to the sense of smell. The Limbic circuit has been long thought of as being a key brain circuit for emotions. What is likely is that the Limbic circuit and the Insular Cortex play distinct roles in emotional experience and associated phenomenon (e.g. blood pressure changes in response to emotions). It is this level of detail which will be most appropriate for developing a model with practical utility.

The discussion about GABA receptors and movement emphasises another aspect of the model. With sufficient detail it should be possible to identify psychopharmacological correlates of emotions and brain circuits for these emotions. There is a great deal of work that has been done in the clinical area in identifying mood related neurotransmitters. These different approaches offer different perspectives on emotion related phenomena.

References

Handbook of Emotional Regulation. Edited by James J Gross. The Guildford Press. 2007.

Related Resources on this Site

Developing a Model of the Insular Cortex and Emotional Regulation: Part 1

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 2: Reviewing a Model by Craig – Part 1

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 3: Reviewing a Model by Craig – Part 2

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 4: Reviewing a Model by Craig – Part 3

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 5: The Evolution of the Insular Cortex

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 6: A Recap

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 7: The James-Lange Theory

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 8: The Cannon-Bard Thalamic Theory of Emotions

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 9: Charles Darwin on the Expression of the Emotions

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 10: The Limbic System

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 11: A Second Recap

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 12: GABA receptors and Emotions

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 13: GABA receptors and Nematode Worms

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 14: Are GABA Receptors Related to Anxiety in Humans Because Worms Wriggle?

What does the Insular Cortex Do Again?

Insular Cortex Infarction in Acute Middle Cerebral Artery Territory Stroke

The Insular Cortex and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

The Relationship of Blood Pressure to Subcortical Lesions

Pathobiology of Visceral Pain

Interoception and the Insular Cortex

A Case of Neurogenic T-Wave Inversion

Video Presentations on a Model of the Insular Cortex

MR Visualisations of the Insula

The Subjective Experience of Pain

How Do You Feel? Interoception: The Sense of the Physiological Condition of the Body

How Do You Feel – Now? The Anterior Insula and Human Awareness

Role of the Insular Cortex in the Modulation of Pain

The Insular Cortex and Frontotemporal Dementia

A Case of Infarct Connecting the Insular Cortex and the Heart

The Insular Cortex: Part of the Brain that Connects Smell and Taste?

Stuttered Swallowing and the Insular Cortex

YouTubing the Insular Cortex (Brodmann Areas 13, 14 and 52)

New Version of Video on Insular Cortex Uploaded

Contributors to the Model (links are to the posts in which contributions were made – these links may contain further links directly to the contributors)

Ann Nonimous

The Neurocritic

Psico-logica

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

6 thoughts on “Another Recap. Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 15

  1. Pingback: A Diversion into the Limbic System Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 16 | The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog

  2. Pingback: A Look at the Amygdala: Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 17 | The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog

  3. Pingback: Fear and Love in the Brain – A Look at the Fornix: Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 18 | The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog

  4. Pingback: Returning to the Beginning: Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 19 | The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog

  5. Pingback: Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 20 | The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog

  6. Pingback: Questions Raised by the Model: Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 21 | The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog

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