Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 214, Issue 5–6, pp 411–417 | Cite as

Right insula for our sense of limb ownership and self-awareness of actions



Normally, we are aware that our arms and legs belong to us and not to someone else. However, some stroke patients with hemiparesis/-plegia after right-sided stroke show a disturbed sensation of limb ownership and a disturbed self-awareness of actions and such patients with anosognosia for hemiparesis/plegia typically deny their paresis/-plegia and are convinced that their limbs function normally. They may experience their limb(s) as not belonging to them and may even attribute them to other persons. Modern lesion analyses techniques in such patients and recent neuroimaging results in healthy subjects suggest a prominent role of the right insula for our sense of limb ownership as well as for our feeling of being involved in a movement—our sense of agency. We thus hypothesize that the right insular cortex constitutes a central node of a network involved in human body scheme representation.


Anosognosia Insula Hemiparesis Limb ownership Agency Intention Motor control Stroke Human 



This work was supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF-Verbundprojekt “Räumliche Orientierung” 01GW0641) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (KA 1258/10-1).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Neuropsychology, Center of Neurology, Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain ResearchUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of MainzMainzGermany

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