Vagal Interoceptive Modulation of Motivated Behavior

Physiology (Bethesda). 2018 Mar 1;33(2):151-167. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00036.2017.


In addition to regulating the ingestion and digestion of food, sensory feedback from gut to brain modifies emotional state and motivated behavior by subconsciously shaping cognitive and affective responses to events that bias behavioral choice. This focused review highlights evidence that gut-derived signals impact motivated behavior by engaging vagal afferents and central neural circuits that generally serve to limit or terminate goal-directed approach behaviors, and to initiate or maintain behavioral avoidance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Feedback, Sensory
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / innervation
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interoception*
  • Motivation*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology*