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Insula Overview
Jeffrey S. Anderson, MD, PhD; Michael Adam Ferguson, BS
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Terminology

  • Synonyms

    • Insula: Island of Reil
  • Definitions

    • Operculum (lid): Frontal, parietal, and temporal cortex covering the insula and forming the lateral border of sylvian fissure
    • Interoception: Perception of body sensations including vasomotor, visceral, pain, temperature, itch, and somatic representations

Gross Anatomy

  • Boundaries

    • Gyral/Sulcal Anatomy

      • von Economo Neurons

        Imaging Anatomy

        • Overview

          • Anatomy Relationships

            Clinical Implications

            • Clinical Importance

              • Function & Dysfunction

                Selected References

                1. Baur V et al: Resting-state functional and structural connectivity within an insula-amygdala route specifically index state and trait anxiety. Biol Psychiatry. 73(1):85-92, 2013
                2. Chang LJ et al: Decoding the role of the insula in human cognition: functional parcellation and large-scale reverse inference. Cereb Cortex. 23(3):739-49, 2013
                3. Cauda F et al: Meta-analytic clustering of the insular cortex: characterizing the meta-analytic connectivity of the insula when involved in active tasks. Neuroimage. 62(1):343-55, 2012
                4. Cloutman LL et al: The variation of function across the human insula mirrors its patterns of structural connectivity: evidence from in vivo probabilistic tractography. Neuroimage. 59(4):3514-21, 2012
                5. Jezzini A et al: Functional organization of the insula and inner perisylvian regions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109(25):10077-82, 2012
                6. Kelly C et al: A convergent functional architecture of the insula emerges across imaging modalities. Neuroimage. 61(4):1129-42, 2012
                7. Seubert J et al: Statistical localization of human olfactory cortex. Neuroimage. 66C:333-342, 2012
                8. Touroutoglou A et al: Dissociable large-scale networks anchored in the right anterior insula subserve affective experience and attention. Neuroimage. 60(4):1947-58, 2012
                9. Cauda F et al: Functional connectivity of the insula in the resting brain. Neuroimage. 55(1):8-23, 2011
                10. Veldhuizen MG et al: Identification of human gustatory cortex by activation likelihood estimation. Hum Brain Mapp. 32(12):2256-66, 2011
                11. Karnath HO et al: Right insula for our sense of limb ownership and self-awareness of actions. Brain Struct Funct. 214(5-6):411-7, 2010
                12. Kosillo P et al: The role of the human anterior insular cortex in time processing. Brain Struct Funct. 214(5-6):623-8, 2010
                13. Kurth F et al: Cytoarchitecture and probabilistic maps of the human posterior insular cortex. Cereb Cortex. 20(6):1448-61, 2010
                14. Craig AD: Emotional moments across time: a possible neural basis for time perception in the anterior insula. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 364(1525):1933-42, 2009
                15. Craig AD: How do you feel--now? The anterior insula and human awareness. Nat Rev Neurosci. 10(1):59-70, 2009
                16. Naqvi NH et al: The hidden island of addiction: the insula. Trends Neurosci. 32(1):56-67, 2009
                17. Singer T et al: A common role of insula in feelings, empathy and uncertainty. Trends Cogn Sci. 13(8):334-40, 2009
                18. Uddin LQ et al: The anterior insula in autism: under-connected and under-examined. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 33(8):1198-203, 2009
                19. von dem Hagen EA et al: Leaving a bad taste in your mouth but not in my insula. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 4(4):379-86, 2009
                20. Sridharan D et al: A critical role for the right fronto-insular cortex in switching between central-executive and default-mode networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105(34):12569-74, 2008
                21. Nagai M et al: Insular cortex and neuropsychiatric disorders: a review of recent literature. Eur Psychiatry. 22(6):387-94, 2007
                22. Naqvi NH et al: Damage to the insula disrupts addiction to cigarette smoking. Science. 315(5811):531-4, 2007
                23. Paulus MP et al: An insular view of anxiety. Biol Psychiatry. 60(4):383-7, 2006
                24. Schreckenberger M et al: The unpleasantness of tonic pain is encoded by the insular cortex. Neurology. 64(7):1175-83, 2005
                25. Craig AD: Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 13(4):500-5, 2003
                26. Ostrowsky K et al: Representation of pain and somatic sensation in the human insula: a study of responses to direct electrical cortical stimulation. Cereb Cortex. 12(4):376-85, 2002
                Related Anatomy
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                References
                Tables

                Tables

                Terminology

                • Synonyms

                  • Insula: Island of Reil
                • Definitions

                  • Operculum (lid): Frontal, parietal, and temporal cortex covering the insula and forming the lateral border of sylvian fissure
                  • Interoception: Perception of body sensations including vasomotor, visceral, pain, temperature, itch, and somatic representations

                Gross Anatomy

                • Boundaries

                  • Gyral/Sulcal Anatomy

                    • von Economo Neurons

                      Imaging Anatomy

                      • Overview

                        • Anatomy Relationships

                          Clinical Implications

                          • Clinical Importance

                            • Function & Dysfunction

                              Selected References

                              1. Baur V et al: Resting-state functional and structural connectivity within an insula-amygdala route specifically index state and trait anxiety. Biol Psychiatry. 73(1):85-92, 2013
                              2. Chang LJ et al: Decoding the role of the insula in human cognition: functional parcellation and large-scale reverse inference. Cereb Cortex. 23(3):739-49, 2013
                              3. Cauda F et al: Meta-analytic clustering of the insular cortex: characterizing the meta-analytic connectivity of the insula when involved in active tasks. Neuroimage. 62(1):343-55, 2012
                              4. Cloutman LL et al: The variation of function across the human insula mirrors its patterns of structural connectivity: evidence from in vivo probabilistic tractography. Neuroimage. 59(4):3514-21, 2012
                              5. Jezzini A et al: Functional organization of the insula and inner perisylvian regions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109(25):10077-82, 2012
                              6. Kelly C et al: A convergent functional architecture of the insula emerges across imaging modalities. Neuroimage. 61(4):1129-42, 2012
                              7. Seubert J et al: Statistical localization of human olfactory cortex. Neuroimage. 66C:333-342, 2012
                              8. Touroutoglou A et al: Dissociable large-scale networks anchored in the right anterior insula subserve affective experience and attention. Neuroimage. 60(4):1947-58, 2012
                              9. Cauda F et al: Functional connectivity of the insula in the resting brain. Neuroimage. 55(1):8-23, 2011
                              10. Veldhuizen MG et al: Identification of human gustatory cortex by activation likelihood estimation. Hum Brain Mapp. 32(12):2256-66, 2011
                              11. Karnath HO et al: Right insula for our sense of limb ownership and self-awareness of actions. Brain Struct Funct. 214(5-6):411-7, 2010
                              12. Kosillo P et al: The role of the human anterior insular cortex in time processing. Brain Struct Funct. 214(5-6):623-8, 2010
                              13. Kurth F et al: Cytoarchitecture and probabilistic maps of the human posterior insular cortex. Cereb Cortex. 20(6):1448-61, 2010
                              14. Craig AD: Emotional moments across time: a possible neural basis for time perception in the anterior insula. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 364(1525):1933-42, 2009
                              15. Craig AD: How do you feel--now? The anterior insula and human awareness. Nat Rev Neurosci. 10(1):59-70, 2009
                              16. Naqvi NH et al: The hidden island of addiction: the insula. Trends Neurosci. 32(1):56-67, 2009
                              17. Singer T et al: A common role of insula in feelings, empathy and uncertainty. Trends Cogn Sci. 13(8):334-40, 2009
                              18. Uddin LQ et al: The anterior insula in autism: under-connected and under-examined. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 33(8):1198-203, 2009
                              19. von dem Hagen EA et al: Leaving a bad taste in your mouth but not in my insula. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 4(4):379-86, 2009
                              20. Sridharan D et al: A critical role for the right fronto-insular cortex in switching between central-executive and default-mode networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105(34):12569-74, 2008
                              21. Nagai M et al: Insular cortex and neuropsychiatric disorders: a review of recent literature. Eur Psychiatry. 22(6):387-94, 2007
                              22. Naqvi NH et al: Damage to the insula disrupts addiction to cigarette smoking. Science. 315(5811):531-4, 2007
                              23. Paulus MP et al: An insular view of anxiety. Biol Psychiatry. 60(4):383-7, 2006
                              24. Schreckenberger M et al: The unpleasantness of tonic pain is encoded by the insular cortex. Neurology. 64(7):1175-83, 2005
                              25. Craig AD: Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 13(4):500-5, 2003
                              26. Ostrowsky K et al: Representation of pain and somatic sensation in the human insula: a study of responses to direct electrical cortical stimulation. Cereb Cortex. 12(4):376-85, 2002