The dynamic integration of sensory and bodily signals is central to adaptive behaviour. Although the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the anterior insular cortex (AIC) play key roles in this process, their context-dependent dynamic interactions remain unclear. Here, we studied the spectral features and interplay of these two brain regions using high fidelity intracranial EEG recordings from 5 patients (ACC: 13 contacts, AIC: 14 contacts) acquired during movie viewing with validation analyses performed on an independent resting iEEG dataset. ACC and AIC both showed a power peak and positive functional connectivity in the gamma (30–35 Hz) frequency while this power peak was absent in the resting data. We then used a neurobiologically informed computational model investigating dynamic effective connectivity asking how it linked to the movie’s perceptual (visual, audio) features and the viewer–s heart rate variability (HRV). Exteroceptive features related to effective connectivity of ACC highlighting its crucial role in processing ongoing sensory information. AIC connectivity was related to HRV and audio emphasising its core role in dynamically linking sensory and bodily signals. Our findings provide new evidence for complementary, yet dissociable, roles of neural dynamics between the ACC and the AIC in supporting brain-body interactions during an emotional experience.

This content is only available as a PDF.

Author notes

Handling Editor: Emily Finn

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For a full description of the license, please visit

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview