Clinical effects of insular damage in humans

Brain Struct Funct. 2010 Jun;214(5-6):397-410. doi: 10.1007/s00429-010-0256-y. Epub 2010 May 29.


Multiple disturbances following lesions of the insula are reviewed in the present article, including those related to autonomic function; gustatory, olfactory, auditory, somatosensory, and multimodal perception, as well as body awareness; the emotion of disgust; mood and willed action, addiction behavior, and language. Given the multiple and varied nature of the impairments revealed by lesion studies, we suggest that the insula, as a multimodal area, has a major role as a convergence zone implicated in the coordination between internal and external information through emotional subjective awareness. Methodological issues are discussed with attention paid to lesion etiology, and lesions involving adjacent areas to the insular cortex.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Awareness / physiology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / pathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain / psychology
  • Perception / physiology*