Mental processes and their neural substrates are intimately linked to the homeostatic control of internal bodily state. There are a set of distinct interoceptive pathways that directly and indirectly influence brain functions. The anatomical organization of these pathways and the psychological/behavioral expressions of their influence appear along discrete, evolutionarily conserved dimensions that are tractable to a mechanistic understanding. Here, we review the role of these pathways as sources of biases to perception, cognition, emotion, and behavior and arguably the dynamic basis to the concept of self.
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