Developing A Model of the Insular Cortex: A Recap

Here is a recap of where the Internet Model of the Insular Cortex is up to at the moment. Here’s where it all started – in the ‘Podcast Review. What does the Insular Cortex Do Again?’ where a study reported on in the podcast gave rise to the initial idea of the Insular Cortex as an area which might be involved in regulating the intensity of emotional experiences. There followed a number of reviews of studies involving or relating to the Insular cortex

a. Here is a review of a study looking at the subjective experience of pain in which they found involvement of the Insular Cortex.

b. Here is a review of a study creating a more accurate MRI representation of the Insular Cortex

c. Here is a review of ‘Interoception and the Insular Cortex’ which was an article recommended by the Neurocritic.

d. Here is a review of the Pathobiology of visceral pain.

e. Here is a review of the relationship of blood pressure to subcortical lesions.

f. Here is a review of a case of neurogenic T-wave inversion.

g. Here is a review of the Insular Cortex and neuropsychiatric disorders.

h. Here is a review of the Insular Cortex in Middle Cerebral Artery stroke.

Here is an  article outlining the development of the Insular Cortex model, which is followed by another article looking at the first 3 video presentations on the model of the Insular Cortex. Finally here are some criticisms of the model.

The assumptions to date from the following article are listed here:-

1. ‘People with Panic Disorder have less GABA receptors in the Insular Cortex than people without Panic Disorder’

2. ‘Panic Disorder results from/in less GABA receptors in the Insular Cortex’.

3. ‘The Anterior Insula Cortex is activated when people are receiving gift amounts from other people’

4. ‘The Anterior Insula Cortex is activated when other people are relating to the individual’

5. ‘People with Borderline Personality Disorder have difficulties with emotional regulation and have less activation in the Anterior Insula’

6. ‘Decreased activation in the Anterior Insula leads to emotional difficulties in relationships in people with Borderline Personality Disorder’

7. ‘The Insular Cortex integrates Emotional and Sensory Information’

Neurocritic adds the following observation which I will list as assumption 8 for the purposes of creating a model and this can be revisited in future revisions

8. ‘The insula might be sensitive to task difficulty across multiple domains, in which case it could be a direct reflection of autonomic responsiveness’

I plan to go back over some of the review articles above to derive more assumptions for incorporation into future revisions of the model. If you have any suggestions you can leave a comment or else e-mail me at


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.


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