AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


Difficult Decisions Involving Perception Increase Activity in Brain's Insular Cortex, Study Finds

If a patient is having difficulty making a decision based on sensory evidence, activity in their brain’s insular cortex increases. This shows that the insular cortex plays a role in how patients perceive their environment and drive their behavior. “This study found the activity of the anterior insulae can predict how well the sensory information is perceived or what the difficulty level of the perceptual task is,” said Mukesh Dhamala, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State. “This research is important because the anterior insulae, along with two nearby brain structures, make up the salience network, and when this network is impaired, it affects the ability to switch between tasks and make coherent thoughts. Impairment in this network could possibly be linked to psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, dementia and autism, so it’s essential to learn more about how this brain area should be functioning.” To read more, click here.

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