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  Volitional Control of Anterior Insula Activity Modulates the Response to Aversive Stimuli: A Real-Time Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Caria, A., Sitaram, R., Veit, R., Begliomini, C., & Birbaumer, N. (2010). Volitional Control of Anterior Insula Activity Modulates the Response to Aversive Stimuli: A Real-Time Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study. Biological Psychiatry, 68(5), 425-432. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.04.020.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-6AC5-9 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-6AC6-8
Genre: Journal Article

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Caria, A, Author
Sitaram, R, Author              
Veit, R1, 2, Author              
Begliomini, C, Author
Birbaumer, N, Author
Affiliations:
1Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497798              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: Background A promising new approach to cognitive neuroscience based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI) demonstrated that the learned regulation of the neurophysiological activity in circumscribed brain regions can be used as an independent variable to observe its effects on behavior. Here, for the first time, we investigated the modulatory effect of learned regulation of blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response in the left anterior insula on the perception of visual emotional stimuli. Methods Three groups of participants (n = 27) were tested: two underwent four rtfMRI training sessions receiving either specific (n = 9) or unspecific feedback (n = 9) of the insula's BOLD response, respectively, and one group used emotional imagery alone (n = 9) without rtfMRI feedback. During training, all groups were required to assess aversive and neutral pictures. Results Participants able to significantly increase BOLD signal in the target region rated the aversive pictures more negatively. We measured a significant correlation between enhanced left anterior insula activity and increased negative valence ratings of the aversive stimuli. Control groups performing either rtfMRI training with unspecific feedback or an emotional imagery training alone were not able to significantly enhance activity in the left anterior insula and did not show changes in subjective emotional responses. Conclusions This study corroborates traditional neuroimaging studies demonstrating a critical role of the anterior insula in the explicit appraisal of emotional stimuli and indicates the adopted approach as a potential tool for clinical applications in emotional disorders.

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 Dates: 2010-09
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.04.020
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Title: Biological Psychiatry
  Other : Biol. Psychiatry
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: New York : Elsevier
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 68 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 425 - 432 Identifier: ISSN: 0006-3223
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925384111