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Activation of anterior insula during self-reflection.

Modinos G, Ormel J, Aleman A - PLoS ONE (2009)

Bottom Line: The results showed a significant effect of task in brain activity, consistent with previous findings, by which both person conditions recruited a common set of medial prefrontal and posterior regions, yet significant differences between self and other were found in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).Notably, significant neural activation in the left anterior insula was observed as uniquely associated with self-reflection.The results provide further evidence for the specific recruitment of anterior MPFC and ACC regions for self-related processing, and highlight a role for the insula in self-reflection.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: BCN Neuroimaging Center, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. g.modinos@med.umcg.nl

ABSTRACT

Background: Functional neuroimaging studies have suggested activation of midline frontoparietal brain regions to be at the core of self-related processes. However, although some studies reported involvement of the insula, little attention has been paid to this region as forming part of the "self"-network.

Methodology/principal findings: Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we aimed at replicating and extending previous studies by scanning subjects whilst reflecting upon their own personal qualities as compared to those of an acquaintance. A third condition with statements about general knowledge was used to control for attention, semantic processing and decision making processes. The results showed a significant effect of task in brain activity, consistent with previous findings, by which both person conditions recruited a common set of medial prefrontal and posterior regions, yet significant differences between self and other were found in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Notably, significant neural activation in the left anterior insula was observed as uniquely associated with self-reflection.

Conclusions/significance: The results provide further evidence for the specific recruitment of anterior MPFC and ACC regions for self-related processing, and highlight a role for the insula in self-reflection. As the insula is closely connected with ascending internal body signals, this may indicate that the accumulation of changes in affective states that might be implied in self-processing may contribute to our sense of self.

Show MeSH
Glass brain and rendered view depicting the main effect of task, as characterized with a one-way within-subjects ANOVA.Significant differences were recognized at p<0.05 (FDR corrected) and extent threshold of 10 voxels.
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pone-0004618-g001: Glass brain and rendered view depicting the main effect of task, as characterized with a one-way within-subjects ANOVA.Significant differences were recognized at p<0.05 (FDR corrected) and extent threshold of 10 voxels.

Mentions: The within-subjects analysis revealed that there was a main effect of task in the precuneus extending into the superior parietal lobe, in the ACC, and bilaterally in the middle frontal and superior frontal gyri (MPFC). Additional activations were seen in the superior temporal gyrus (STG), calcarine gyrus, SMA, and the left anterior insula (Table 1 and Figure 1).


Activation of anterior insula during self-reflection.

Modinos G, Ormel J, Aleman A - PLoS ONE (2009)

Glass brain and rendered view depicting the main effect of task, as characterized with a one-way within-subjects ANOVA.Significant differences were recognized at p<0.05 (FDR corrected) and extent threshold of 10 voxels.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2643476&req=5

pone-0004618-g001: Glass brain and rendered view depicting the main effect of task, as characterized with a one-way within-subjects ANOVA.Significant differences were recognized at p<0.05 (FDR corrected) and extent threshold of 10 voxels.
Mentions: The within-subjects analysis revealed that there was a main effect of task in the precuneus extending into the superior parietal lobe, in the ACC, and bilaterally in the middle frontal and superior frontal gyri (MPFC). Additional activations were seen in the superior temporal gyrus (STG), calcarine gyrus, SMA, and the left anterior insula (Table 1 and Figure 1).

Bottom Line: The results showed a significant effect of task in brain activity, consistent with previous findings, by which both person conditions recruited a common set of medial prefrontal and posterior regions, yet significant differences between self and other were found in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).Notably, significant neural activation in the left anterior insula was observed as uniquely associated with self-reflection.The results provide further evidence for the specific recruitment of anterior MPFC and ACC regions for self-related processing, and highlight a role for the insula in self-reflection.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: BCN Neuroimaging Center, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. g.modinos@med.umcg.nl

ABSTRACT

Background: Functional neuroimaging studies have suggested activation of midline frontoparietal brain regions to be at the core of self-related processes. However, although some studies reported involvement of the insula, little attention has been paid to this region as forming part of the "self"-network.

Methodology/principal findings: Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we aimed at replicating and extending previous studies by scanning subjects whilst reflecting upon their own personal qualities as compared to those of an acquaintance. A third condition with statements about general knowledge was used to control for attention, semantic processing and decision making processes. The results showed a significant effect of task in brain activity, consistent with previous findings, by which both person conditions recruited a common set of medial prefrontal and posterior regions, yet significant differences between self and other were found in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Notably, significant neural activation in the left anterior insula was observed as uniquely associated with self-reflection.

Conclusions/significance: The results provide further evidence for the specific recruitment of anterior MPFC and ACC regions for self-related processing, and highlight a role for the insula in self-reflection. As the insula is closely connected with ascending internal body signals, this may indicate that the accumulation of changes in affective states that might be implied in self-processing may contribute to our sense of self.

Show MeSH