View Full Version : The insula


Kunga Dorji
08-30-13, 07:25 AM
A fascinating article from the Scientific American:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/A-Single-Brain-Structure-May-Give-Winners-That-Extra-Physical-Edge-163862976.html

Classically thought of as being principally involved in empathy, it is clear that the Insula does much more than just this. Once again the concept of "embodied cognition" is coming to the fore.

There is now very solid evidence emerging of a very tight nexus between emotion (which swiftly directs our attention to the most salient objects in our environment) attention and movement (which directs movement towards or away from the objects of attention according to their evaluation as threatening or promising.

When one thinks about it, this effect in sportsmen is not really all that surprising, nor is it surprising that sports, which involve repeated and meticulously timed activation of the insula and anterior cingulate gyrus, should be helpful in improving attention.

What is also pleasing is the increasingly solid evidence of thickening of and increasing activation of the insula with mindfulness practice.

Stay tuned- we live in very promising times.

sarek
08-30-13, 07:44 AM
I find my form of mindfulness to be particularly powerful in improving emotional control.
Awareness can in fact extend to intellectual, emotional and movement control functions. Its also able to reduce the amount in which various centres in the brain run interference with other centres.

This is also related to the experiment to which you linked where physical issues can affect emotions and vice versa. That is not a logical situation and awareness training can help deconflict the system.