Learning about Interoception
and the Interoceptive brain pathways
Over the past decade or so, there has been a vast increase in the research relating to interoception, specifically its relation to the insular and anterior cingulate cortices, and its relevance to the sense of self, cognition, anxiety, depression, and addiction.
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.