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Interoception beyond homeostasis: affect, cognition and mental health

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 03:49 authored by Manos Tsakiris, Hugo CritchleyHugo Critchley
Interoception refers to the sensing of the internal state of one's body. Interoception is distinct from the processing of sensory information concerning external (non-self) stimuli (e.g. vision, hearing, touch and smell) and is the afferent axis to internal (autonomic and hormonal) physiological control. However, the impact of interoception extends beyond homeostatic/allostatic reflexes: it is proposed to be fundamental to motivation, emotion (affective feelings and behaviours), social cognition and self-awareness. This view is supported by a growing body of experimental evidence that links peripheral physiological states to mental processes. Within this framework, the representation of self is constructed from early development through continuous integrative representation of biological data from the body, to form the basis for those aspects of conscious awareness grounded on the subjective sense of being a unique individual. This theme issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B draws together state-of-the-art knowledge concerning theoretical, experimental and clinical facets of interoception with the emphasis on cognitive and affective neuroscience. The multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives represented in this theme issue disseminate and entrench knowledge about interoception across the scientific community and provide a reference for the conceptualization and further study of interoception across behavioural sciences.


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  • Published

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Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences




Royal Society, The





Department affiliated with

  • BSMS Neuroscience Publications

Research groups affiliated with

  • Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science Publications

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