Both of us disgusted in My Insula: The common neural basis of seeing and feeling disgust

B Wicker, C Keysers, J Plailly, JP Royet, [No Value] Gallese, G Rizzolatti*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1487 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    What neural mechanism underlies the capacity to understand the emotions of others? Does this mechanism involve brain areas normally involved in experiencing the same emotion? We performed an fMRI study in which participants inhaled odorants producing a strong feeling of disgust. The same participants observed video clips showing the emotional facial expression of disgust. Observing such faces and feeling disgust activated the same sites in the anterior insula and to a lesser extent in the anterior cingulate cortex. Thus, as observing hand actions activates the observer's motor representation of that action, observing an emotion activates the neural representation of that emotion. This finding provides a unifying mechanism for understanding the behaviors of others.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)655-664
    Number of pages10
    JournalNeuron
    Volume40
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 30-Oct-2003

    Keywords

    • OLD-WORLD MONKEY
    • HUMAN CINGULATE CORTEX
    • FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
    • TEMPORAL CORTEX
    • HUMAN AMYGDALA
    • PREMOTOR CORTEX
    • NEURONS
    • RECOGNITION
    • PAIN
    • EMOTION

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