The Insula: A "Hub of Activity" in Migraine

Borsook, D., Veggeberg, R., Erpelding, N., Borra, R., Linnman, C., Burstein, R. & Becerra, L., Dec-2016, In : Neuroscientist. 22, 6, p. 632-652 21 p.

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  • The Insula

    Final publisher's version, 442 KB, PDF document


  • David Borsook
  • Rosanna Veggeberg
  • Nathalie Erpelding
  • Ronald Borra
  • Clas Linnman
  • Rami Burstein
  • Lino Becerra

The insula, a cortical hub buried within the lateral sulcus, is involved in a number of processes including goal-directed cognition, conscious awareness, autonomic regulation, interoception, and somatosensation. While some of these processes are well known in the clinical presentation of migraine (i.e., autonomic and somatosensory alterations), other more complex behaviors in migraine, such as conscious awareness and error detection, are less well described. Since the insula processes and relays afferent inputs from brain areas involved in these functions to areas involved in higher cortical function such as frontal, temporal, and parietal regions, it may be implicated as a brain region that translates the signals of altered internal milieu in migraine, along with other chronic pain conditions, through the insula into complex behaviors. Here we review how the insula function and structure is altered in migraine. As a brain region of a number of brain functions, it may serve as a model to study new potential clinical perspectives for migraine treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-652
Number of pages21
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2016


  • interoception, pain, autonomic function, brain connectivity, salience network, headache, functional networks, sensory processing, emotional processing, brain imaging, fMRI, PET, lateral sulcus, STATE FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY, AUTONOMIC NERVOUS-SYSTEM, VON ECONOMO NEURONS, COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY, CEREBRAL GLUCOSE-METABOLISM, ANTERIOR CINGULATE CORTEX, BRAIN-STEM ACTIVATION, VESTIBULAR MIGRAINE, SLEEP-DEPRIVATION, PLACEBO ANALGESIA

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