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Brain Struct Funct. 2010 Jun;214(5-6):451-63. doi: 10.1007/s00429-010-0258-9. Epub 2010 May 21.

Interoception in anxiety and depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, 8939 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


We review the literature on interoception as it relates to depression and anxiety, with a focus on belief, and alliesthesia. The connection between increased but noisy afferent interoceptive input, self-referential and belief-based states, and top-down modulation of poorly predictive signals is integrated into a neuroanatomical and processing model for depression and anxiety. The advantage of this conceptualization is the ability to specifically examine the interface between basic interoception, self-referential belief-based states, and enhanced top-down modulation to attenuate poor predictability. We conclude that depression and anxiety are not simply interoceptive disorders but are altered interoceptive states as a consequence of noisily amplified self-referential interoceptive predictive belief states.

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