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Science News

ScienceDirect: Interoceptive technologies for psychiatric interventions: From diagnosis to clinical applications

January 1, 2024

Interoception—the perception of internal bodily signals—has emerged as an area of interest due to its implications in emotion and the prevalence of dysfunctional interoceptive processes across psychopathological conditions. Despite the importance of interoception in cognitive neuroscience and psychiatry, its experimental manipulation remains technically challenging. This is due to the invasive nature of existing methods, the limitation of self-report and unimodal measures of interoception, and the absence of standardized approaches across disparate fields. This article integrates diverse research efforts from psychology, physiology, psychiatry, and engineering to address this oversight. Following a general introduction to the neurophysiology of interoception as hierarchical predictive processing, we review the existing paradigms for manipulating interoception (e.g., interoceptive modulation), their underlying mechanisms (e.g., interoceptive conditioning), and clinical applications (e.g., interoceptive exposure). We suggest a classification for interoceptive technologies and discuss their potential for diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. Despite promising results, considerable work is still needed to develop standardized, validated measures of interoceptive function across domains and before these technologies can translate safely and effectively to clinical settings.