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Neuroscience of disgust

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The neuroscience of disgust is an aspect of affective neuroscience that deals with the neurobiology of the emotion of disgust.

The insular cortex is thought to play a critical role in the bodily experience of emotion, as it is connected to other brain structures that regulate the body’s autonomic functions (heart rate, breathing, digestion, etc.). This region also processes taste information and is thought to play an important role in experiencing disgust.

Functional MRI experiments have revealed that the anterior insula in the brain is particularly active when experiencing disgust, when being exposed to offensive tastes, and when viewing facial expressions of disgust.[1]


  1. Phillips ML et al. A specific neural substrate for perceiving facial expressions of disgust.Nature. 1997 Oct 2;389(6650):495-8. PMID 9333238

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