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Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2018 Jun;3(6):501-513. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2017.12.004. Epub 2017 Dec 28.

Interoception and Mental Health: A Roadmap.

Author information

1
Laureate Institute for Brain Research, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oxley College of Health Sciences, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Electronic address: skhalsa@laureateinstitute.org.
2
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
4
Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom.
5
Department of Physiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
6
Laureate Institute for Brain Research, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oxley College of Health Sciences, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
7
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
8
Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
9
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
10
Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.
11
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami, Miami, Florida.
12
Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
13
Translational Neuromodeling Unit, Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
14
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.
15
Department of Psychology, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
16
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
17
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California.
18
Department of Health Psychology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
19
Laureate Institute for Brain Research, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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.

KEYWORDS:

Biomarker; Computational psychiatry; Interoception; Mental health; Research Domain Criteria; Treatment

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