How does interoceptive awareness interact with the subjective experience of emotion? An fMRI Study

Centre for Advanced Research on Logic and Sensibility (CARLS), Keio University, Minato-ku, Kodaira-shi, Tokyo, Japan
Human Brain Mapping (Impact Factor: 6.92). 01/2011; 34(3). DOI: 10.1002/hbm.21458
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent studies in cognitive neuroscience have suggested that the integration of information about the internal bodily state and the external environment is crucial for the experience of emotion. Extensive overlap between the neural mechanisms underlying the subjective emotion and those involved in interoception (perception of that which is arising from inside the body) has been identified. However, the mechanisms of interaction between the neural substrates of interoception and emotional experience remain unclear. We examined the common and distinct features of the neural activity underlying evaluation of emotional and bodily state using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The right anterior insular cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) were identified as commonly activated areas. As both of these areas are considered critical for interoceptive awareness, these results suggest that attending to the bodily state underlies awareness of one's emotional state. Uniquely activated areas involved in the evaluation of emotional state included the temporal pole, posterior and anterior cingulate cortex, medial frontal gyrus, and inferior frontal gyrus. Also the precuneus was functionally associated with activity of the right anterior insular cortex and VMPFC when evaluating emotional state. Our findings indicate that activation in these areas and the precuneus are functionally associated for accessing interoceptive information and underpinning subjective experience of the emotional state. Thus, awareness of one's own emotional state appears to involve the integration of interoceptive information with an interpretation of the current situation. Hum Brain Mapp, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

    • "Several studies suggest that we refer to our own bodily state when evaluating our emotional state and that the areas mentioned above serve as common ground (Dunn et al., 2010; Gu et al., 2013b; Pollatos et al., 2005a). Different models propose that the subjective experience of emotion arises from the integration of interoceptive stimuli and external environmental stimuli in the aIC (Craig, 2009; Critchley, 2009; Gu et al., 2013a; Kurth et al., 2010; Terasawa et al., 2013a). Present results support the blending of interoception and emotion and highlight the role of internal cardiac triggers in the rapid encoding of emotional salience. "
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    ABSTRACT: The relationship between ongoing brain interoceptive signals and emotional processes has been addressed only indirectly through external stimulus-locked measures. In this study, an internal body trigger (heart evoked potential, HEP) was used to measure ongoing internally triggered signals during emotional states. We employed high-density electroencephalography (hd-EEG), source reconstruction analysis, and behavioral measures to assess healthy participants watching emotion-inducing video-clips (positive, negative, and neutral emotions). Results showed emotional modulation of the HEP at specific source-space nodes of the fronto-insulo-temporal networks related to affective-cognitive integration. This study is the first to assess the direct convergence among continuous triggers of viscerosensory cortical markers and emotion through dynamic stimuli presentation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Autonomic neuroscience: basic & clinical 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.autneu.2015.06.006 · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    • "ich perhaps hints at altered awareness or calibra - tion of internal states ; they seem to require greater levels of arousal than the healthy participants to reach the same conscious decision . Emotional awareness may depend on integrating sensorimo - tor and interoceptive information with an interpretation of the external situation in real time ( Terasawa et al . , 2013 ) . The role of bodily sensations and interoceptive awareness in emotion experi - ence is unclear but interoception and somatosensory processing are compromised in the SZ - spectrum ( Peled et al . , 2003 ; Chang and Lenzenweger , 2005 ; Linnman et al . , 2013 ) and may con - tribute to alexithymia ( Van ' t Wout et al . , 2007 ; Aaron "
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptive emotional responses are important in interpersonal relationships. We investigated self-reported emotional experience, physiological reactivity, and micro-facial expressivity in relation to the social nature of stimuli in individuals with schizophrenia (SZ). Galvanic skin response (GSR) and facial electromyography (fEMG) were recorded in medicated outpatients with SZ and demographically matched healthy controls (CO) while they viewed social and non-social images from the International Affective Pictures System. Participants rated the valence and arousal, and selected a label for experienced emotions. Symptom severity in the SZ and psychometric schizotypy in CO were assessed. The two groups did not differ in their labeling of the emotions evoked by the stimuli, but individuals with SZ were more positive in their valence ratings. Although self-reported arousal was similar in both groups, mean GSR was greater in SZ, suggesting differential awareness, or calibration of internal states. Both groups reported social images to be more arousing than non-social images but their physiological responses to non-social vs. social images were different. Self-reported arousal to neutral social images was correlated with positive symptoms in SZ. Negative symptoms in SZ and disorganized schizotypy in CO were associated with reduced mean fEMG. Greater corrugator mean fEMG activity for positive images in SZ indicates valence-incongruent facial expressions. The patterns of emotional responses differed between the two groups. While both groups were in broad agreement in self-reported arousal and emotion labels, their mean GSR, and fEMG correlates of emotion diverged in relation to the social nature of the stimuli and clinical measures. Importantly, these results suggest disrupted self awareness of internal states in SZ and underscore the complexities of emotion processing in health and disease.
    Frontiers in Psychology 04/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00320 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "Finally, we would like to note the usefulness of our underlying approach to investigate the contribution of processing bodily sensations to different cognitive domains. For example, studies with this approach have shown that interoception and emotional self-reflection activate common brain regions (Terasawa et al., 2013), and that both interoception and performance monitoring have some association with social cognition, such as empathy to others (Fukushima and Hiraki, 2009; Fukushima et al., 2011). The current approach can be expected to extend to other types of self-monitoring, such as mental introspection or evaluation of the social state of the self, in attempts to further clarify the nature of the multiple layers of selfhood. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although self-monitoring is an important process for adaptive behaviors in multiple domains, the exact relationship among different internal monitoring systems is unclear. Here, we aimed to determine whether and how physiological monitoring (interoception) and behavioral monitoring (error processing) are related to each other. To this end we examined within-subject correlations among measures representing each function. Score on the heartbeat counting task (HCT) was used as a measure of interoceptive awareness. The amplitude of two event-related potentials (error-related negativity [ERN] and error-positivity [Pe]) elicited in error trials of a choice-reaction task (Simon task) were used as measures of error processing. The Simon task presented three types of stimuli (objects, faces showing disgust, and happy faces) to further examine how emotional context might affect inter-domain associations. Results showed that HCT score was robustly correlated with Pe amplitude (the later portion of error-related neural activity), irrespective of stimulus condition. In contrast, HCT score was correlated with ERN amplitude (the early component) only when participants were presented with disgust-faces as stimuli, which may have automatically elicited a physiological response. Behavioral data showed that HCT score was associated with the degree to which reaction times slowed after committing errors in the object condition. Cardiac activity measures indicated that vigilance level would not explain these correlations. These results suggest a relationship between physiological and behavioral monitoring. Furthermore, the degree to which behavioral monitoring relies on physiological monitoring appears to be flexible and depend on the situation.
    International Journal of Psychophysiology 10/2014; 94(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.10.001 · 2.65 Impact Factor
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