Involvement of insula and cingulate cortices in control and suppression of natural urges

Alicja Lerner, Anto Bagic, Takashi Hanakawa, Eilis A. Boudreau, Fernando Pagan, Zoltan Mari, William Bara-Jimenez, Murat Aksu, Susumu Sato, Dennis L. Murphy, Mark Hallett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The physiology of control and suppression of natural urges is not well understood. We used [15O]H2O positron-emission tomography imaging to identify neural circuits involved in suppression of spontaneous blinking as a model of normal urges. Suppression of blinking was associated with prominent activation of bilateral insular-claustrum regions, right more than left; activation was also found in bilateral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), supplementary motor areas, and the face area of the primary motor cortex bilaterally. These results suggest a central role for the insula possibly together with ACC in suppression of blinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-223
Number of pages6
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Blinking
  • Insula
  • PET
  • Suppression
  • Urges
  • Visceral homunculus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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