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How Do You Feel?: An Interoceptive Moment with Your Neurobiological Self
Craig, A.D. (Bud)
Princeton University Press / Hardcover / 2014-12-01 / 069115676X
reg price: $54.95 our price: $ 49.46 (may be subject to change)
368 pages
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How Do You Feel? brings together startling evidence from neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry to present revolutionary new insights into how our brains enable us to experience the range of sensations and mental states known as feelings. Drawing on his own cutting-edge research, neurobiologist Bud Craig has identified an area deep inside the mammalian brain—the insular cortex—as the place where interoception, or the processing of bodily stimuli, generates feelings. He shows how this crucial pathway for interoceptive awareness gives rise in humans to the feeling of being alive, vivid perceptual feelings, and a subjective image of the sentient self across time. Craig explains how feelings represent activity patterns in our brains that signify emotions, intentions, and thoughts, and how integration of these patterns is driven by the unique energy needs of the hominid brain. He describes the essential role of feelings and the insular cortex in such diverse realms as music, fluid intelligence, and bivalent emotions, and relates these ideas to the philosophy of William James and even to feelings in dogs.

How Do You Feel? is also a compelling insider’s account of scientific discovery, one that takes readers behind the scenes as the astonishing answer to this neurological puzzle is pursued and pieced together from seemingly unrelated fields of scientific inquiry. This book will fundamentally alter the way that neuroscientists and psychologists categorize sensations and understand the origins and significance of human feelings.

A. D. (Bud) Craig is the Atkinson Research Scientist at the Barrow Neurological Institute, and is appointed as an adjunct research professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and an adjunct research professor of psychology at Arizona State University.


"This fascinating book is truly a must-read for anyone interested in the biological underpinnings of human perception. Craig integrates evidence from neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry to present new insights into how our brains enable us to experience the range of sensations and mental states known as feelings. Readers won't just learn about captivatingly novel findings, but will enormously enjoy the sheer elegance of Craig's thought."--Nikos K. Logothetis, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics

"An engaging and uniquely personal perspective on the neurobiology of feelings. One gains a clear, comprehensive, and integrative view of the evolution and future of the field through the lens of a creative neuroscientist and scholar."--Helen S. Mayberg, Emory University School of Medicine

"In this provocative and deeply creative book, Craig shares his journey of scientific discovery to reveal an insight that is both simple and sweeping: the nervous system contains a sensory pathway that is built for regulating homeostasis, and it functions as a fundamental, organizing feature of the mind. Many of the psychological phenomena that we think of as independent and separate--metabolism, emotion, stress, pain, and time perception--are all united, in one way or another, by this sensory pathway. After reading this book, you will think differently about the nature of consciousness, and, ultimately, what it means to be human."--Lisa Feldman Barrett, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Northeastern University

"In this engaging book, Craig develops a revolutionary new approach to how we think about emotions. How Do You Feel? provides a compelling and comprehensive view of a major shift in the field. It reflects Craig’s almost encyclopedic knowledge, and is an impressive collection and integration of scientific facts."--Martin P. Paulus, University of California, San Diego


List of Figures and Plates ix
List of Boxes xi
Preface xiii

Ideas from the lamina I projection map that add to the textbooks 16
An overview of the map 16
The central neural substrates for homeostasis 19
Textbook knowledge regarding touch 23
Textbook knowledge regarding pain and temperature 28
Irritating incongruities 31
Identification of the thermosensory pathway 33
Recognizing that temperature sensation is part of interoception 38
Viewing a thermosensory feeling as a homeostatic emotion 42
Thermal sensations become subjective feelings 45
Emergent ideas about feelings, moments, music, and time 46
Bivalent emotions in bicameral brains 50

Homeostatic sensory fibers and the interoceptive dorsal horn 54
Finding lamina I spinothalamic neurons 55
Lamina I spinothalamic neurons are "labeled lines 62
Anomalous characteristics point to a new direction 71
Integrated lamina I activity generates thermoregulatory pain: the thermal grill 74
Identifying lamina I projections to autonomic neurons 82
Demonstrating that lamina I subserves homeostasis 90
The identification of homeostatic small-diameter sensory fibers 94
The development of the interoceptive dorsal horn 97
The interoceptive dorsal horn subserves homeostasis 101
The evolutionary origin of interoceptive and exteroceptive neurons 103
The homeostatic sensory system provides crucial vasoreceptive feedback 106

Lamina I terminations at cardiorespiratory sites in the brainstem 111
An overview of lamina I projections to the brainstem 112
Lamina I terminations in the lower brainstem (medulla) 115
Lamina I terminations in the middle brainstem (pons) 118
Lamina I terminations in the parabrachial nucleus 119
Lamina I terminations in the periaqueductal gray (upper brainstem) 124
Summary 129

Lamina I spinothalamic input to the thalamus and cortex in primates 130
My introduction to functional neuroanatomy 131
The significance of somatotopic organization 133
The lateral spinothalamic tract 134
Finding Waldo 135
The functional anatomical characteristics of the VMpo in the macaque monkey 139
The projection from the VMpo to the dorsal posterior insula in the macaque monkey 145
The organization of the dorsal posterior insula in the macaque monkey 150
The interoceptive pathway 155
The human VMpo 160
The human dorsal posterior insula 166
The human interoceptive cortex 170
Interoceptive touch 173
Summary, and an interoceptive perspective on cortical gyrification 175

Interoceptive integration generates the feeling of being alive 182
The structure of the insular cortex 183
Posterior-to-mid-to-anterior processing of interoceptive activity 185
Multimodal integration in the mid-insula 188
Feelings from the body emerge first in the mid-insula 191
Homeostatic sentience 194
Interoceptive integration improves energy efficiency 197
The model of interoceptive integration and the generalization of feelings 199
Interoceptive feelings come to awareness in the anterior insula 203
Emotional feelings emerge and come to awareness in the anterior insula 206
The embodiment of emotional feelings 209

Awareness emerges in the anterior insular cortex 216
The AIC is activated during cognitive activity 219
The model: Integration of cognitive feelings 221
Evidence that awareness is engendered in the AIC 223
Evidence that the AIC supports feelings about time 226
The model: Cinemascopic integration of moments of time 228
The model: The structural basis of awareness 235
The role of the AIC in the control of network activity 243
Evidence that the AIC is crucial for fluid intelligence 247
Evidence that the AIC optimizes energy utilization 249
Individual variability and maturation 251
Distorted feelings produce mental illness 254

The asymmetric forebrain 257
Ethological evidence of forebrain asymmetry 260
Neuroanatomical evidence of forebrain and AIC asymmetry 262
Clinical evidence of forebrain and AIC asymmetry 263
Physiological evidence of forebrain and AIC asymmetry 265
Psychophysiological evidence of forebrain and AIC asymmetry 267
Two recent reviews uncover asymmetric activation of the amygdala and the AIC 270
The alignment of autonomic, behavioral, and affective control 272
Opponent inhibition 274
Specialization and balance 275
And something curious 277

Graded sentience and tail-wagging in dogs 280
A quick review 280
Scaling up homeostatic sentience 285
Graded sentience 289
Feelings in dogs 293
How about Watson? 295
Acknowledgments 297
Abbreviations 299
Glossary 301
Reference List 309
Illustration Credits 337
Index 339

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