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Berntson et al., The Insula and Evaluative Processes

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PSYC 473
Mark Baldwin

Seth DavisMeagan Henriques260204952The Insula and Evaluative ProcessesBerntson Norman Bechara Bruss Tranel and CacioppoPurpose The insula is proposed to be implicated in evaluative and affective processes the study examined the evaluative valence and arousal ratings of patients with lesions to their insula compared to two control groupsThe insular cortex is in the forebrain and its function is on autonomic regulation emotion and cognition It is interconnected with the frontal parietal and temporal cortical areas which have been involved in attention memory and cognitionAlso it interacts with neural circuitry underlying affective and cognitive processes Studies show insula activation during diverse emotional states disgust pain anxiety as well as in response to depictions of emotional contexts or facial expressions of emotion in self or other people oSuggests that the insular cortex plays a broad role in cognitiveemotional integrationResearch shows that the anterior insula is activated when people make riskaverse decisionsInsular lesions have been reported to impair sensitivity to aversive outcomes and the ability to adjust better strategies according to probabilistic oddsResearchers have reported that insular activation occurs in anticipation of risky gains and risky lossesThe amygdala has also been implicated in evaluative processesoThe amygdala appears to play an important role in fear conditioning preattentive processing of threatrelated stimuli emotional memories and decision making based on punishmentreward contingenciesoThe activation of the amygdala is related to affective intensity and is generally greater for negative emotionsoLesions of the amygdala disrupt fear conditioning and the perception of dangerMethodSeven patients with insular lesions 1 female and 6 males constituted the primary focus group
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