Brain Dissection: Insula Anatomy

We just wrapped up the 2009 Summer Institute on Cognitive Neuroscience here at UCSB. There are a million stories to tell from the two weeks of the Summer Institute, but for this post I just wanted to upload a few pictures from the brain dissection lab that went on during the first week. Mark D’Esposito was our small group leader and took us on an amazing tour of brain anatomy. At the end of the session he allowed us to investigate specific brain structures we had a particular research interest in. I reassembled the axial slices from the right hemisphere and cut away the frontal, parietal, and temporal opercula to reveal the insula, hiding underneath.


After some quick Photoshop work you can isolate the insula from other structures in the photo. You can clearly see the gyri and sulci of the insular cortex. To the left is the posterior insula and to the right is anterior insula.


From there we can overlay some labels that detail major anatomical features of the insula.


After investigating the insula using MRI for the last three years it was a real treat to finally see an example of it in person. Special thanks to Mark D’Esposito, Mike Miller, and Mike Gazzaniga for letting me take part.

July 7, 2009 • Posted in: CogNeuro, Interoception

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