Repository logo
 

In the Body's Eye: The computational anatomy of interoceptive inference.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Levy, Andrew 
Parr, Thomas 

Abstract

A growing body of evidence highlights the intricate linkage of exteroceptive perception to the rhythmic activity of the visceral body. In parallel, interoceptive inference theories of affective perception and self-consciousness are on the rise in cognitive science. However, thus far no formal theory has emerged to integrate these twin domains; instead, most extant work is conceptual in nature. Here, we introduce a formal model of cardiac active inference, which explains how ascending cardiac signals entrain exteroceptive sensory perception and uncertainty. Through simulated psychophysics, we reproduce the defensive startle reflex and commonly reported effects linking the cardiac cycle to affective behaviour. We further show that simulated 'interoceptive lesions' blunt affective expectations, induce psychosomatic hallucinations, and exacerbate biases in perceptual uncertainty. Through synthetic heart-rate variability analyses, we illustrate how the balance of arousal-priors and visceral prediction errors produces idiosyncratic patterns of physiological reactivity. Our model thus offers a roadmap for computationally phenotyping disordered brain-body interaction.

Description

Keywords

Brain, Emotions, Heart Rate, Interoception

Journal Title

PLoS Comput Biol

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1553-734X
1553-7358

Volume Title

18

Publisher

Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Sponsorship
Wellcome Trust (088130/Z/09/Z)
Rosetrees Trust (173346)
Lundbeckfonden (R272-2017-4345)