Aberrations of anterior insular cortex functional connectivity in nontreatment-seeking alcoholics

Meredith E. Halcomb, Evgeny J. Chumin, Joaquín Goñi, Mario Dzemidzic, Karmen K. Yoder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


An emergent literature suggests that resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) functional connectivity (FC) patterns are aberrant in alcohol use disorder (AUD) populations. The salience network (SAL) is an established set of brain regions prominent in salience attribution and valuation, and includes the anterior insular cortex (AIC). The SAL is thought to play a role in AUD through directing increased attention to interoceptive cues of intoxication. There is very little information on the salience network (SAL) in AUD, and, in particular, there are no data on SAL FC in currently drinking, nontreatment seeking individuals with AUD (NTS). rsfMRI data from 16 NTS and 21 social drinkers (SD) were compared using FC correlation maps from ten seed regions of interest in the bilateral AIC. As anticipated, SD subjects demonstrated greater insular FC with frontal and parietal regions. We also found that, compared to SD, NTS had higher insular FC with hippocampal and medial orbitofrontal regions. The apparent overactivity in brain networks involved in salience, learning, and behavioral control in NTS suggests possible mechanisms in the development and maintenance of AUD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
StatePublished - Feb 28 2019


  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Alcoholism
  • Hippocampus
  • Interoception
  • Orbitofrontal cortex
  • Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Salience network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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