Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Insular Lobe

  • Melissa J. McGinnEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_325


Insula; Insular cortex; Island of Reil


Often considered to be the fifth lobe of the brain, the insular lobe is situated deep within the lateral (Sylvian) fissure where it is concealed by the opercula of the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes. While the functions of the insular lobe are not fully understood, it receives nociceptive and visceral sensory input and has been implicated in a variety of processes, ranging from homoeostatic regulation, autonomic control, interoceptive awareness, and taste perception to affective-motivational pain processing, salience, and subjective emotional experience. Functional neuroimaging studies have also linked the insular lobe to conscious desires, cravings, and addiction as well as a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, mood, panic, posttraumatic stress, and obsessive compulsive disorders.


References and Readings

  1. Augustine, J. R. (1996). Circuitry and functional aspects of the insular lobe in primates including humans. Brain Research Reviews, 22, 229–244.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Downar, J., Blumberger, D. M., & Daskalakis, Z. J. (2016). The neural crossroads of psychiatric illness: An emerging target for brain stimulation. Trends in Cognitive Science, 20(2), 107–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Nagai, M., Kishi, K., & Kato, S. (2007). Insular cortex and neuropsychiatric disorders: A review of recent literature. European Psychiatry, 22, 387–394.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anatomy and NeurobiologyVirginia Commonwealth University School of MedicineRichmondUSA