Micah Allen, Centre of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University; Cambridge Psychiatry, Cambridge University
Measuring Multidimensional Interoception: Sensitivity, Precision, and Metacognitive Calibration
Abstract: Interoception is a crucial sensory modality that involves the perception and awareness of internal bodily states, and is sometimes referred to as the "sixth sense." Its significance in emotion, self-awareness, and homeostasis has been widely recognized by numerous psychological theories. Recent research suggests that interoceptive deficits may underlie a range of psychiatric and health disorders. However, current methods for measuring interoception suffer from serious limitations related to their construct and internal reliability, necessitating advancements in measurement techniques. This talk presents two newly developed psychophysical approaches that utilize Bayesian estimation strategies to quantify cardiac and respiratory interoception. Validated with large-scale experiments, these methods offer robust measurements of the sensitivity, precision, and metacognitive calibration of multidimensional interoception. The talk also explores how ecological fear enhances cardiac interoception in real-world scenarios and investigates individual differences in the multivariate neural signatures of interoception using data from our 500N neuroimaging project. The insights gained from this research have the potential to inform new approaches to diagnosis and treatment of disorders featuring interoceptive deficits.