Prof. Stephen Jackson’s new research on `On the functional anatomy of the urge-for-action` was accepted in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
Please refer to the following title and abstract.
Title: On the functional anatomy of the urge-for-action
Several common neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Tourette syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, etc.) are associated with unpleasant bodily sensations that are perceived as an urge for action. Similarly, many of our everyday behaviours are also characterised by bodily sensations that we experience as urges for action. Where do these urges originate?
In this paper we consider the nature and the functional anatomy of ‘urges-for-action’, both in the context of everyday behaviours such as yawning, swallowing, and micturation, and in relation to clinical disorders in which the urge-for-action is considered pathological and substantially interferes with activities of daily living (e.g., Tourette syndrome).
We review previous frameworks for thinking about behavioural urges and demonstrate that there is considerable overlap between the functional anatomy of urges associated with everyday behaviours such as swallowing, yawning, and micturation, and those urges associated with the generation of tics in Tourette syndrome. Specifically, we show that the limbic sensory and motor regions -- insula and mid cingulate cortex? are common to all of these behaviours, and we argue that this ‘Motivation-for-Action’ network should be considered distinct from an ‘Intentional Action’ network, associated with regions of premotor and parietal cortex, which may be responsible for the perception of ‘willed intention’ during the execution of goal-directed actions.