Interoception and emotion

Curr Opin Psychol. 2017 Oct;17:7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.04.020. Epub 2017 Apr 23.


Influential theories suggest emotional feeling states arise from physiological changes from within the body. Interoception describes the afferent signalling, central processing, and neural and mental representation of internal bodily signals. Recent progress is made in conceptualizing interoception and its neural underpinnings. These developments are supported by empirical data concerning interoceptive mechanisms and their contribution to emotion. Fresh insights include description of short-term interoceptive effects on neural and mental processes (including fear-specific cardiac effects), the recognition of dissociable psychological dimensions of interoception, and models of interoceptive predictive coding that explain emotions and selfhood (reinforced by structural anatomical models and brain and experimental findings). This growing grasp of interoception is enriching our understanding of emotion and its disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interoception / physiology*