Thirst-Dependent Activity of the Insular Cortex Reflects its Emotion-Related Subdivision: A Cerebral Blood Flow Study

Meier, Lea; Federspiel, Andrea; Jann, Kay; Wiest, Roland; Strik, Werner; Dierks, Thomas (2018). Thirst-Dependent Activity of the Insular Cortex Reflects its Emotion-Related Subdivision: A Cerebral Blood Flow Study. Neuroscience, 383, pp. 170-177. Elsevier 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2018.04.022

1-s2.0-S0306452218302732-main.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Recent studies investigating neural correlates of human thirst have identified various subcortical and telencephalic brain areas. The experience of thirst represents a homeostatic emotion and a state that slowly evolves over time. Therefore, the present study aims at systematically examining cerebral perfusion during the parametric progression of thirst. We measured subjective thirst ratings, serum parameters and cerebral blood flow in 20 healthy subjects across four different thirst stages: intense thirst, moderate thirst, subjective satiation and physiological satiation. Imaging data revealed dehydration-related perfusion differences in previously identified brain areas, such as the anterior cingulate cortex, the middle temporal gyrus and the insular cortex. However, significant differences across all four thirst stages (including the moderate thirst level), were exclusively found in the posterior insular cortex. The subjective thirst ratings over the different thirst stages, however, were associated with perfusion differences in the right anterior insula. These findings add to our understanding of the insular cortex as a key player in human thirst - both on the level of physiological dehydration and the level of the subjective thirst experience.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Meier, Lea, Federspiel, Andrea, Jann, Kay, Wiest, Roland Gerhard Rudi, Strik, Werner, Dierks, Thomas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

09 May 2018 15:43

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

arterial spin labeling (ASL) dehydration homeostasis insula




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback