Portretfoto Nadine

Nadine Gogolla

Neuroscience Symposium
Keysers Group

The Neuroscience Symposia are organized weekly by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. The presentations are given by researchers from the institute or by guest speakers. The title and content of the symposium is usually made known in the week prior to the presentation.

Guest speaker Christian Keysers

4:00 pm – Keeping the balance: A role for the insular cortex in emotion homeostasis

How does the brain maintain fear within an adaptive range? In my talk, I will present recent data from my lab identifying the posterior insular cortex to serve as a state-dependent regulator of fear necessary to establish an equilibrium between the extinction and maintenance of fear memories in mice. While insular cortex responsiveness to fear-evoking cues increased with their certainty to predict harm, this activity was attenuated via negative bodily feedback arising from heart rate decelerations during freezing. Perturbation of body-brain communication by vagus nerve stimulation disrupted the balance between fear extinction and maintenance similar to insular cortex inhibition. Our data reveal that the insular cortex integrates predictive sensory and interoceptive signals to provide graded and bidirectional teaching signals that gate fear extinction and illustrate how bodily feedback signals are used to maintain fear within a functional equilibrium.

Dr. Nadine Gogolla is a director at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry where she leads the Emotion Research Department, and a research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried. She currently has a ERC-StG to study the insula and its role in anxiety.