Attention, Salience, and Self-Awareness: The Role of Insula in Meditation



The insular cortex is implied in a great variety of cognitive functions and, for this reason, is probably one of the most studied brain regions in neuroscience. A consistent and increasing number of evidence are defining the role of the insula in meditation, which in recent years has become a hot topic of research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine. In this chapter we intend to illustrate how the insula is involved in meditation. To this aim, we discuss the well-known and pivotal role of this brain region in attention, salience, and self-awareness, which are key cognitive processes for meditation practice. In virtue of these important functions, the insular cortex proves itself to be a key component of the neural correlates of meditation.


Insula Attention Self-awareness Salience Meditation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GCS fMRIKoelliker Hospital and University of TurinTurinItaly
  2. 2.FOCUS Lab, Department of PsychologyUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  3. 3.Neuroscience Institute of TurinTurinItaly

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