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The interoceptive system continuously updates homeostatic and emotional information,
which are essential elements in motivational decisions. The continuous processing
of interoceptive visceral signals in the insular cortex, a key region of the interoceptive
system, seems to be involved in the perception of bodily states and emotional responses.
We had previously shown that the reversible inactivation of the posterior insula with
lidocaine transiently disrupted the drug craving behavior and malaise induced by lithium.
However, role played by the insular cortex in the control of autonomic variables,
an important component of the emotional responses remains unexplored. Thus, we tested
the effect of the reversible inactivation of the insular cortex with neosaxitoxin,
a voltage-dependent sodium channel blocker, on body temperature, arterial pressure
and heart rate in conscious rats.
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