Interoceptive predictions in the brain.

Author: Barrett LF1, Simmons WK2
1Northeastern University, Department of Psychology, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA; and the Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Psychiatry and the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.
2Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133, USA; and the Faculty of Community Medicine, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104, USA.
Conference/Journal: Nat Rev Neurosci.
Date published: 2015 Jul
Other: Volume ID: 16 , Issue ID: 7 , Pages: 419-29 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1038/nrn3950. Epub 2015 May 28. , Word Count: 104

Intuition suggests that perception follows sensation and therefore bodily feelings originate in the body. However, recent evidence goes against this logic: interoceptive experience may largely reflect limbic predictions about the expected state of the body that are constrained by ascending visceral sensations. In this Opinion article, we introduce the Embodied Predictive Interoception Coding model, which integrates an anatomical model of corticocortical connections with Bayesian active inference principles, to propose that agranular visceromotor cortices contribute to interoception by issuing interoceptive predictions. We then discuss how disruptions in interoceptive predictions could function as a common vulnerability for mental and physical illness.

PMID: 26016744 PMCID: PMC4731102 DOI: 10.1038/nrn3950