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Interoception and Mental Health: A Roadmap.

  • Author(s): Khalsa, Sahib S
  • Adolphs, Ralph
  • Cameron, Oliver G
  • Critchley, Hugo D
  • Davenport, Paul W
  • Feinstein, Justin S
  • Feusner, Jamie D
  • Garfinkel, Sarah N
  • Lane, Richard D
  • Mehling, Wolf E
  • Meuret, Alicia E
  • Nemeroff, Charles B
  • Oppenheimer, Stephen
  • Petzschner, Frederike H
  • Pollatos, Olga
  • Rhudy, Jamie L
  • Schramm, Lawrence P
  • Simmons, W Kyle
  • Stein, Murray B
  • Stephan, Klaas E
  • Van den Bergh, Omer
  • Van Diest, Ilse
  • von Leupoldt, Andreas
  • Paulus, Martin P
  • Interoception Summit 2016 participants
  • et al.
Abstract

Interoception refers to the process by which the nervous system senses, interprets, and integrates signals originating from within the body, providing a moment-by-moment mapping of the body's internal landscape across conscious and unconscious levels. Interoceptive signaling has been considered a component process of reflexes, urges, feelings, drives, adaptive responses, and cognitive and emotional experiences, highlighting its contributions to the maintenance of homeostatic functioning, body regulation, and survival. Dysfunction of interoception is increasingly recognized as an important component of different mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, addictive disorders, and somatic symptom disorders. However, a number of conceptual and methodological challenges have made it difficult for interoceptive constructs to be broadly applied in mental health research and treatment settings. In November 2016, the Laureate Institute for Brain Research organized the first Interoception Summit, a gathering of interoception experts from around the world, with the goal of accelerating progress in understanding the role of interoception in mental health. The discussions at the meeting were organized around four themes: interoceptive assessment, interoceptive integration, interoceptive psychopathology, and the generation of a roadmap that could serve as a guide for future endeavors. This review article presents an overview of the emerging consensus generated by the meeting.

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