Interoception: Definitions, Dimensions, Neural Substrates

  • Olga PollatosEmail author
  • Beate M. Herbert


In this chapter interoception and interoceptive abilities - the sensing and representation of signals concerning the internal state of the body - are introduced and the relevance for embodiment in general is discussed. We suggest the use of different dimensions of interoception (interoceptive accuracy, interoceptive sensibility, interoceptive awareness, interoceptive emotional evaluation) and introduce methods to assess and distinguish these dimensions. Furthermore, neural correlates and recent models with important conceptual ideas are introduced and the pivotal importance of interoceptive abilities in constituting our feeling of the self is summarized highlighting the relevance of interoception for both mental and physical health. Lastly, we discuss the relevance of interoception for therapeutic applications using two examples, namely eating disorders and alexithymia.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical and Health PsychologyInstitute of Psychology and Education, Ulm UniversityUlmGermany
  2. 2.Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, Department of PsychologyEberhard Karls University of TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Fresenius University, Psychology SchoolMunichGermany

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