Visceral Perception through Learning
In the foregoing chapters on the psychophysics of viscerosensory stimuli, we were dealing exclusively with “inherent” visceroceptive events, i.e., phenomena actually occurring in the “real time” of our experimental situations and our observations. In other words, we could not and did not pay attention to the past of these internal changes, and we did not know anything about the onto-genetic history of the viscerosensory events studied in our subjects. That is why quotes appeared around the term feelings; however, it would be proper to name these reportable viscerosensory phenomena “inherent” in visceral sensations or perceptions. It has been our presumption for many years that in adults, these inherent conscious phenomena are the resultants of long and complex learning processes in which at least two main components necessarily take part, namely, (1) inborn abilities to detect, to recognize, and eventually to name viscerosensory signals and (2) reinforcing (mediating) inborn stimuli of somatic character originating from receptors from the inside or from the surface of the body (contact receptors), eventually from a given distance (telereceptors). Accidentally social reinforcing stimuli may have a role in creating “inherent” visceral sensitivity (e.g., bladder and rectal distention detection under the pressure of the social environment).
KeywordsUnconditional Stimulus Colon Distention Visceral Sensitivity Visceral Sensation Visceral Perception
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