Lecture: Sarah Garfinkel (Brighton): Interoception and Embodied Emotion
Sarah Garfinkel (Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex, Brighton):
"Interoception and Embodied Emotion"
The brain and body are dynamically coupled to influence emotion and cognition. The physiological dimension to emotional processing is widely recognised, yet relatively poorly understood mechanistically. A series of studies using autonomic, neural and behavioural monitoring will demonstrate links between the heart, brain and emotion in healthy controls and aberrant mechanisms in patients. Interoception, defined as the sensing of visceral signals arising from the body and operationalized as accuracy during heartbeat detection paradigms, is demonstrated to underscore aspects of emotional experience. Moreover, aberrant interoceptive processing is present in clinical populations with impairments in emotion processing, such as Autism Spectrum Conditions. In addition, anxiety is shown to be associated with a heightened interoceptive error signal. Finally, studies which access this interoceptive channel, by manipulating stimulus processing in relation to cardiac afferent signals, demonstrate how the heart can alter fear processing and impact emotional memory. Together, these experiments demonstrate that emotion is embodied, that interoceptive processing is altered in clinical conditions with aberrant emotional processing, and that this channel of cardiac afferent information can shape our emotional memories. These results highlight the importance of the interaction between peripheral and central mechanisms for understanding emotion. Thus, this body-to-brain axis can help shape emotion with implications for future therapeutic targets.
Host: Hong Yu Wong
- Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience
- University of Tübingen