Enhancing human emotions with interoceptive technologies

Phys Life Rev. 2019 Dec:31:310-319. doi: 10.1016/j.plrev.2019.10.008. Epub 2019 Oct 25.


Historically, multiple theories have posited an active, causal role for perceived bodily states in the creation of human emotion. Recent evidence for embodied cognition, i.e. the role of the entire body in cognition, and support for models positing a key role of bodily homeostasis in the creation of consciousness, i.e. active inference, call for the test of causal rather than correlational links between changes in bodily state and changes in affective state. The controlled stimulation of body signals underlying human emotions and the constant feedback loop between actual and expected sensations during interoceptive processing allows for intervention on higher cognitive functioning. Somatosensory interfaces and emotion prosthesis modulating body perception and human emotions through interoceptive illusions offer new experimental and clinical tools for affective neuroscience. Here, we review challenges in the affective and interoceptive neurosciences, in the light of these novel technologies designed to open avenues for applied research and clinical intervention.

Keywords: Aesthetic chills; Cognitive augmentation; Emotion prosthesis; Human-computer interfaces; Interoception; Interoceptive illusions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interoception*
  • Neurosciences