Targeting the insula to treat depression
Addiction and depression are psychiatric disorders characterised by suboptimal decision-making due to aberrant processing of negative information. Laboratory tasks to assess decision-making in humans closely mimic real-life situations, providing participants with cues to guide their decisions, which can, for instance, result in winning or losing money. The EU-funded Island in the brain project will study the engagement of the insular cortex (insula) brain region in decision-making. The insular cortex has been implicated in decision-making and in several psychiatric disorders. It will also develop a new way to assess cue-guided risk/punishment decision-making in rats. The findings will be useful in the testing of treatment strategies targeting the insula.
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