The insula is a highly integrated cortical region both anatomically and functionally. It has been shown to have cognitive, social-emotional, gustatory, and sensorimotor functions. Insular involvement in both normal and abnormal swallowing behavior is well established, yet its functional connectivity is unclear. Studies of context-dependent connectivity, or the connectivity during different task conditions, have the potential to reveal information about synaptic function of the insula. The goal of this study was to examine the functional connectivity of specific insular regions (ventral anterior, dorsal anterior, and posterior) with distant cortical regions during four swallowing conditions (water, sour, e-stim, and visual biofeedback) using generalized psychophysiological interactions (gPPI). In 19 healthy adults, we found that the visual biofeedback condition was associated with the most and strongest increases in functional connectivity. The posterior insula/rolandic operculum regions had the largest clusters of increases in functional connectivity, but the ventral anterior insula was functionally connected to a more diverse array of cortical regions. Also, laterality assessments showed left lateralized increases in swallowing functional connectivity. Our results are aligned with reports about the insula’s interconnectivity and extensive involvement in multisensory and cognitive tasks.
- Psychophysiological interactions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)