Henry Evrard

29 avril 2019

Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen

Body-Mind interface in the primate brain

Invité par Guillaume Masson


Body-mind interface in the primate brain

Our laboratory combines architectonics, tract-tracing, Patch-seq and NET-, DES- and Opto-fMRI in the macaque monkey to examine the organization of the insular cortex, a primary cortical interface between bodily signals and high-order brain functions. We demonstrated that the insula contains several distinct small architectonic and hodological areas across which interoceptive afferents are serially integrated with high-order polymodal activities, from a posterior granular “primary interoceptive cortex” to an ultimate anterior agranular autonomic and affective output stage. One of the agranular areas specifically contains the atypical spindle-shaped von Economo neuron (VEN), which is selectively depleted in frontotemporal dementia. A relatively high proportion of VENs projects to distant pre-ganglionic brainstem regions. fMRI with concurrent recording or stimulation in the ’VEN area’ confirmed these connections and unraveled prominent functional relations with high-order cortical areas, supporting the idea that the anterior insula could serve as hub for the simultaneous interoceptive shaping of polymodal perceptual experience and high-order homeostatic regulation of bodily states.

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