The sentient self

Brain Struct Funct. 2010 Jun;214(5-6):563-77. doi: 10.1007/s00429-010-0248-y. Epub 2010 May 29.


This article addresses the neuroanatomical evidence for a progression of integrative representations of affective feelings from the body that lead to an ultimate representation of all feelings in the bilateral anterior insulae, or "the sentient self." Evidence for somatotopy in the primary interoceptive sensory cortex is presented, and the organization of the mid-insula and the anterior insula is discussed. Issues that need to be addressed are highlighted. A possible basis for subjectivity in a cinemascopic model of awareness is presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Awareness / physiology*
  • Body Image*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Self Concept*