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A common role of insula in feelings, empathy and uncertainty


Singer, T; Critchley, H D; Preuschoff, K (2009). A common role of insula in feelings, empathy and uncertainty. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(8):334-440.

Abstract

Although accumulating evidence highlights a crucial role of the insular cortex in feelings, empathy and processing uncertainty in the context of decision making, neuroscientific models of affective learning and decision making have mostly focused on structures such as the amygdala and the striatum. Here, we propose a unifying model in which insula cortex supports different levels of representation of current and predictive states allowing for error-based learning of both feeling states and uncertainty. This information is then integrated in a general subjective feeling state which is modulated by individual preferences such as risk aversion and contextual appraisal. Such mechanisms could facilitate affective learning and regulation of body homeostasis, and could also guide decision making in complex and uncertain environments.

Abstract

Although accumulating evidence highlights a crucial role of the insular cortex in feelings, empathy and processing uncertainty in the context of decision making, neuroscientific models of affective learning and decision making have mostly focused on structures such as the amygdala and the striatum. Here, we propose a unifying model in which insula cortex supports different levels of representation of current and predictive states allowing for error-based learning of both feeling states and uncertainty. This information is then integrated in a general subjective feeling state which is modulated by individual preferences such as risk aversion and contextual appraisal. Such mechanisms could facilitate affective learning and regulation of body homeostasis, and could also guide decision making in complex and uncertain environments.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:August 2009
Deposited On:21 Jan 2010 23:44
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:38
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1364-6613
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2009.05.001
PubMed ID:19643659

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