Regions of the interoceptive network

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Chapter 4 endnote 25, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

For a detailed list of cortical and subcortical regions in the interoceptive network, see...

Cortical regions in the interoceptive network that initiate viscermotor, motor, and sensory predictions include the:[1]

  • Anterior cingulate cortex (including the subgenual, pregenual, and dorsal sectors; the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex is also called the anterior mid cingulate cortex)
  • Mid cingulate cortex
  • Posterior cingulate cortex
  • Medial prefrontal cortex (including both the ventral and dorsal sectors; the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is also called orbitofrontal cortex)
  • Anterior insula (sometimes referred to as frontoinsular cortex).
  • Mid and posterior insula (primary interoceptive cortex)
  • Inferior frontal gyrus (also called Broca’s area)
  • Supplementary Motor Cortex
  • Superior temporal sulcus and temporal pole
  • Parahippocampal gyrus

Subcortical regions in the interoceptive network that implement visceromotor predictions for the body include the:[1]

  • Amygdala
  • Ventral striatum
  • Thalamus
  • Hypothalamus
  • Periaqueductal gray
  • Parabrachial nucleus
  • Nucleus tractus solitarius

Both the hippocampus and portions of the cerebellum are also part of this network.[1]

To see tiny the subcortical nuclei in the midbrain that control the autonomic nervous system, you need a really powerful, seven Tesla magnet. My lab has done this and identified activity in specific nuclei within the periaqueductal gray or PAG, which sits in the midbrain and directs activity in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems while test subjects are viewing evocative images.[2]

For additional references, see body-budgeting and interoception.


Notes on the Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 For relevant references, see Kleckner, Ian, Jiahe Zhang, Alexandra Touroutoglou, Lorena Chanes, Chenjie Xia, W. Kyle Simmons, Karen Quigley, Bradford Dickerson, and Lisa Feldman Barrett. 2017. “Evidence for a Large-Scale Brain System Supporting Interoception in Humans.” Nature Human Behavior 1: 0069.
  2. Satpute, Ajay B., Tor D. Wager, Julien Cohen-Adad, Marta Bianciardi, Ji-Kyung Choi, Jason T. Buhle, Lawrence L. Wald, and Lisa Feldman Barrett. 2013. "Identification of discrete functional subregions of the human periaqueductal gray." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (42): 17101-17106.