Diseases, Disorders, and Comorbidities of Interoception

Trends Neurosci. 2021 Jan;44(1):39-51. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2020.09.009.

Abstract

Interoception, the sense of the body's internal physiological state, underpins homeostatic reflexes, motivational states, and sensations contributing to emotional experiences. The continuous nature of interoceptive processing, coupled to behavior, is implicated in the neurobiological construction of the sense of self. Aberrant integration and control of interoceptive signals, originating in the brain and/or the periphery, can perturb the whole system. Interoceptive abnormalities are implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders and in the symptomatic expression of developmental, neurodegenerative, and neurological disorders. Moreover, interoceptive mechanisms appear central to somatic disorders of brain-body interactions, including functional digestive disorders, chronic pain, and comorbid conditions. The present article provides an overview of disorders of interoception and suggests future directions for better understanding, diagnosis, and management of these disorders.

Keywords: chronic pain; interoception; irritable bowel syndrome; neurological disorders; pelvic disorders; psychiatric disorders.

Publication types

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