Cingulate Gyrus Functioning

The cingulate gyrii lies next to the midline of the brain, just above the corpus callosum. The cingulate contributes to a large network in the brain which integrates the limbic system with the cortex. Among it’s many functions, two pivotal higher order functions are:

  1. The way the individual responds subconsciously to good or bad outcomes
  2. The way we express responses to situations that involve suffering, pain, and conflict 1)Austin, 2010

Studies have shown that people who are prone to be worried, “worry-warts”, show increased fMRI signals in both the anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex. 2)M. Paulus, J. Feinstein, A. Simmons, et. al. Anterior cingulate activation in high trait anxious subjects is related to altered error processing during decision making. Biological Psychiatry 2004, 55:1179-1187

Humans and higher primates have a cluster of large spindle-shaped nerve cells int he anterior cingulate and fronto-insular cortex. It’s posited that these cells are in a position to sample emotionally valenced messages related to past experiences and relay them to the frontpolar cortex at Broadmann area 10.

References   [ + ]

1. Austin, 2010
2. M. Paulus, J. Feinstein, A. Simmons, et. al. Anterior cingulate activation in high trait anxious subjects is related to altered error processing during decision making. Biological Psychiatry 2004, 55:1179-1187

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