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How Do You Feel?

How Do You Feel?: An Interoceptive Moment with Your Neurobiological Self

A. D. (Bud) Craig
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    How Do You Feel?
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5272-7
    Subjects: Biological Sciences, Health Sciences, Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. List of Figures and Plates
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Boxes
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xx)
    (pp. 1-15)

    How do you feel?

    That’s a familiar question that we hear every day. If I pause to examine my feelings now, at this moment, the very first observation I have is that I’m having lots of ongoing feelings. My feelings include several about my recent interactions with others, a few about my walk up the hill and my plans for the coming weekend, and recurrent feelings about my current goals, about writing this book, and about the ideas I want to share with you. I am also experiencing feelings that relate neither to the past nor the future, but rather...

  7. 2 FEELINGS FROM THE BODY VIEWED AS EMOTIONS Ideas from the lamina I projection map that add to the textbooks
    (pp. 16-53)

    The lamina I projection map illustrated in figure 1 depicts the sensory pathway that my research elucidated. The new ideas I discuss in this book emerged first from consideration of this chart, and in this chapter, I introduce these ideas and explain how they arose. The labels in the figure identify specific parts of the nervous system. In order to follow these remarks, you need to understand only a few of these abbreviations, and they are explained in the following text. In this chapter, I use simplified terms, and I avoid mention of unnecessary detail. Box 1 (see page 35)...

  8. 3 THE ORIGIN OF THE INTEROCEPTIVE PATHWAY Homeostatic sensory fibers and the interoceptive dorsal horn
    (pp. 54-110)

    In chapters 1 and 2, I introduced the ideas about feelings, interoception, and homeostasis that emerged from the lamina I projection map and that I describe in this book. Beginning with this chapter, I present the evidence that supports these ideas, and I explain some of the experiments that produced this evidence. In the introductory text, I used very few technical words, but in order to describe hard evidence accurately, I need to use more specialized neuroscience terminology. With the help of several people who read the early drafts, I limit the technical words as much as possible and I...

  9. 4 INTEROCEPTION AND HOMEOSTASIS Lamina I terminations at cardiorespiratory sites in the brainstem
    (pp. 111-129)

    In this chapter, I describe the regions in the brainstem where the ascending lamina I axons terminate, which I identified in cat and monkey with the tracer PHA-L. These projection targets are all involved in homeostasis, and thus, these terminations confirm that lamina I projections serve as the central homeostatic pathway that conveys sensory input from the sympathetically innervated tissues of the body. In the lower brainstem or medulla, in fact, lamina I terminations occur precisely in the visceral sensorimotor layer defined by classical neuroanatomists at the junction of the developmental alar and basal plates. Terminations occur in regions that...

  10. 5 THE INTEROCEPTIVE PATHWAY TO THE INSULAR CORTEX Lamina I spinothalamic input to the thalamus and cortex in primates
    (pp. 130-181)

    In chapters 1 and 2, I introduced the idea of an interoceptive pathway that provides a sense of the physiological condition of the body, and I outlined the progression of ideas that led me from that ascending pathway to a model of feelings as the coinage of homeostatic valuation. Chapters 3 and 4 presented the functional and anatomical evidence regarding lamina I neurons and their projections at spinal and brainstem levels. That evidence identifies lamina I as the origin of the central interoceptive pathway that serves homeostasis, and the origin of ascending sensory channels for bodily affective feelings of sharpness,...

  11. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  12. 6 BODILY FEELINGS EMERGE IN THE INSULAR CORTEX Interoceptive integration generates the feeling of being alive
    (pp. 182-215)

    In chapter 5, I described the evidence for the ascending pathway to interoceptive cortex in the posterior insula of anthropoid primates. I explained how this pathway is especially well developed in humans, and I described the evidence for its role in the discriminative sensations of pain and temperature and taste, as well as itch, muscle work, blood flow, and several other affective feelings from the body. There is now ample support for the assertion that this pathway provides a high-resolution cortical image of the physiological condition of the body, based on the homeostatic sensory activity that ascends from lamina I...

  13. 7 FEELINGS ABOUT THOUGHTS, TIME, AND ME Awareness emerges in the anterior insular cortex
    (pp. 216-256)

    In chapter 6, I described evidence in humans for the emergence of affective bodily feelings in the mid-insula and emotional feelings in the anterior insular cortex (AIC). I introduced a model of interoceptive and homeostatic integration that can explain sentience and the generation of the feeling of being alive and vivid bodily feelings. I described a generalized construct for the integration of activity in the emotional motor system, which enables the generation of vivid emotional feelings as if they were bodily feelings. That construct substantializes the embodiment of emotional feelings, which is the essence of the James–Lange theory of...

    (pp. 257-279)

    In chapter 7, I described evidence that the anterior insular cortex (AIC) is activated during thoughts and mental processes as well as during affective bodily feelings and emotional feelings. I suggested that the evidence is consistent with the idea that the AIC engenders subjective awareness, and I presented evidence which supports that idea. I explained how the model can provide a basis for awareness and for time perception, musical enjoyment, and subjectivity. Last, I described the evidence indicating that the bilateral AIC, and predominantly the right AIC, uses the integrated representation of feelings across time to guide behavior by coordinating...

  15. 9 A FEW MORE THOUGHTS ABOUT FEELINGS Graded sentience and tail-wagging in dogs
    (pp. 280-296)

    In this last chapter, my intent is to be direct, to get straight to the point. Let’s pretend that I am talking to you in a small auditorium or lecture hall, as if this were the end of a public lecture to a general university audience of students, postdocs, faculty, and visitors. I will try to anticipate the questions I might hear or that I might pick up from people’s faces. Let’s begin by reviewing the main points I covered in the preceding chapters, and then we’ll extrapolate these new ideas to real life topics.

    A quick review. In chapters...

  16. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 297-298)
  17. Abbreviations
    (pp. 299-300)
  18. Glossary
    (pp. 301-308)
  19. Reference List
    (pp. 309-336)
  20. Illustration Credits
    (pp. 337-338)
  21. Index
    (pp. 339-344)