Monthly Archives: September 2013

Questions Raised by the Model: Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 21

A Model of the Insular Cortex

In the last post we looked at some of the features of the model as it begins to take shape. Could the Insular Cortex act as a transformer in a simple system where physiological responses are translated into emotional experiences in a single part of the brain.

Such a model as it is stated is simple, perhaps too simple and raises a number of questions

1. Does information from physiological responses require more than one step to be transformed into emotional experiences?

2. If a transformative function is required should this occur in just a single location or like many functions would this be distributed?

3. If the Insular Cortex were the only location for this transformation then would that determine many of the anatomical relationships it has with other structures e.g. would it need a direct or indirect connection with all other areas involved in emotional experience or regulation?

4. What constitutes a physiological response? The perception of neutral stimuli in the environment is a physiological response involving the sensory and perceptual apparatus. Do the physiological responses relevant to this discussion have to be characterised?

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?

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

A Diversion into the Limbic System: Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 16

A Look at the Amygdala-PFC Dyad – Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 17

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.

Alzheimer’s Disease Predicted to Rise to 277 Million by 2050 and New Technology for Analysing IV Fluid News Round-Up October 2013 1st Edition

Researchers in this study look at effects of changing calories in closely monitored diets on refeeding syndrome in anorexia.

Researchers in this Nature Communications paper suggests that a mutation in the gene for Brain Derived Neutrophic Factor (with a prevalence of up to 20%) is linked to Hippocampus atrophy and anxiety.

The Hippocampus

This New England Journal of Medicine opinion paper suggests 3 year medical degree in America for selected students.

Can this technology reduce intravenous drug errors? The researchers have used a technique known as SERS (surface enhanced raman scattering) to analyse fluid content in real time.

In the PREDIMED study published in BMC Medicine, the researchers found that the Mediterranean diet was related to reduced Depression risk in Diabetes Type 2.

The recently published Alzheimer’s Disease International ‘World Alzheimer’s Report‘ predicts that Dementia of Alzheimer’s Type will affect 277 million people globally by 2050.

Research suggests that PirB binds Beta Amyloid before it forms the Beta Amyloid plaque and this may contribute to the neurodegenerative process.

Researchers found a number of factors that help carers for people with strokes including reminiscing about past experiences, making sense of experiences an planning for the future.

A GBA gene mutation leads to early Parkinson’s Disease through lipid changes. The lipids also have an independent link with cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s Disease in people who do not have this gene mutation. 

Neuroscience

brain.1

In this PLOS One functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging study there was found to be no difference in brain activation between people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and a control group during Theory of Mind tasks. Both regions of interest and whole brain analyses were undertaken to compare the subjects.

There is a case report of one person with Epilepsy who developed an aura of bliss and wellbeing. The aura was reproduced by stimulating the Anterior Insular Cortex.

There is a PLOS One study looking at improving workflow in research studies.

Evolutionary Psychiatry, Evolution & Culture

Evolutionary PsychiatryA new theory for the Cambrian explosion of life suggests many reasons including a rise in sea levels.

Appendix

News Round-Up 2008-2011

News Round-Up 2012

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.

The Science of Magic…. and it Involves Attention

“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room.”
“Frequently.”
“How often?”
“Well, some hundreds of times.”
“Then how many are there?”
“How many? I don’t know.”
“Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. That is just my point. Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed.”
from ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1891

iStock_000013481752Small

In this TEDx talk, psychologist Gustav Kuhn takes us through the science of magic. As a magician himself he has the advantage of having two perspectives on this subject. The analogy between magic and research studies where subjects are distracted from the aim of the study is an interesting point.

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.

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative

awarenessI was intrigued when I came across the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. This is an American charity that raises awareness and funds through art quiltwork. The charity has been running since 2006. People donate quilts and the charity sells the quilts directly or through auction as well as running a touring exhibition. The charity have donated funds towards research.  The charity was founded by Ami Simms whose mother had Alzheimer’s Disease. Over 15,600 quilts have been donated and the fundraising period is drawing to a close as per this post.

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.

A Talk About Smell

In this TEDx talk Vedat Ozan tells us about our sense of smell. Ozan takes the audience through a simple experiment demonstrating the connection between smell and taste which can be easily reproduced by the interested reader/viewer. The connection between smell and the immune system is also interesting and Ozan comments on the evolutionary significance of this relationship.

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.

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 20

A Model of the Insular Cortex

In preceding posts we have looked at various models of emotions in the brain which have allowed the contextualisation of a model of the Insular Cortex. Two early and general models of emotions look at the relationship between emotions and physiological responses to stimuli.

There are at least two ways in which this relationship can happen. We sense a stimulus – a spider for example. When we see the spider we experience fear and our heart starts to race. Or else we see the spider and our heart races and we respond with the sense of fear.

In this simplistic model there would need to be a means of transforming information from physiological responses into emotional experiences. In this context we can start with the hypothesis that the Insular Cortex is a transformer. In just the same way we could also argue that the Insular Cortex transmits information from physiological responses or else that it is the location for emotional experiences.

Regardless of whether this is correct or not, this explicit hypothesis enables us to explore the function of the Insular Cortex and also the question of whether information from physiological responses can be converted directly into emotional experiences or whether one or more transformative steps are required.

There are still a few steps before the contextualised model can be stated.

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?

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

A Diversion into the Limbic System: Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 16

A Look at the Amygdala-PFC Dyad – Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 17

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 19

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.

New findings in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome News Round-Up September 2013 3rd Edition

 

There have been a few new findings in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome which can leads to a number of conditions including Schizophrenia, Graves disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis and has a prevalence of 1 in 4,000 (although it may be more common). Both Velocardofacial syndrome or DiGeorge’s syndrome result from 22q11.2 deletion but the term ’22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome’ subsumes both of these syndrome names. There has been an established link with Autistic Spectrum Disorders but  a recent study suggests this is not the case. Dr Angkustsiri and colleagues at UC Davis have found that although 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome is associated with social impairment, this does not meet the criteria for Autistic Spectrum Disorders. In another study researchers found that 4 out 159 people with 22q11.2  Deletion Syndrome had Parkinson’s Disease with age of onset between 39 and 48 years of age. These initial findings will need further confirmation.

Researchers have found a complex relationship between weight gain over the age of 50 and mortality.

via MedWire News the researchers in one study found that retinal venules were wider in people with Schizophrenia than in a control group (n=922) although the significance is unclear.

The National Institutes of Health in America are allocating significant funding for Alzheimer’s Disease prevention studies.

 

Neuroscience

brain.1A new tool for assessing fine motor control suggests development takes longer than previously thought.

A PLOS One study looking at young and older adults doesn’t support the positivity hypothesis for older adults. This hypothesis states that older adults are better at processing and remembering information with a positive emotional valence. The researchers in this study used electroencephalography to investigate brain response to face stimuli.

Researchers have found that the Tet1 gene is linked to memory extinction and this knowledge may guide the future development of treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (although this is speculative). There are a number of other genes which are linked to memory extinction.

A high resolution scanning probe microscope has enabled researchers to measure electrical activity at synapses at an unprecedented level of detail.

Reesearchers have identified a gradient of inhibition in the Entorhinal cortex and suggest this influences synchronisation.

Evolutionary Psychiatry, Evolution & Culture

iStock_000004855799SmallResearchers have found evidence that Neanderthals were eating Salmon from a nearby river 45,000 years ago. The Neanderthals were living in a cave inhabited by other species such as the Cave Bear at different times. The researchers examined the radioisotopes of the specimens to determine that the Salmon were most likely associated with the Neanderthal remains. This is consistent with findings in Gibraltar where Neanderthal remains were associated with marine life remains.

Researchers have identified what may be Dinosaur feathers preserved in amber from approximately 80 million years ago. The research looked at a collection of amber specimens and the team believe that they may have identified Dinosaur feathers and protofeathers with colour preservation. These findings can give valuable insights into the more general features of evolution such as species adaptations.

Appendix

News Round-Up 2008-2011

News Round-Up 2012

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.