On the Interaction of Interoceptive Processes and Health – Implications for Research With Adults, Children and Psychopathological Groups

  • E. Matthias
  • S. Duschek


Aims: Recent research on embodiment suggest that the body and its representations play an important role for psychological as well as physical health. In this context it is important that internal signals like one’s heartbeats are centrally processed via specific pathways and both their neural representations as well as their conscious perception (interoception) provide key information for many emotional and cognitive processes. In this symposium we want to elucidate ongoing research on interoception both in healthy adults, in children and in psychopathological groups. We want to point out that interoceptive processes can be measured reliably both in adults and in children, and that they are associated with important other variables like physical activity, emotional processes or abnormal eating behavior. Rationale: Interoception is a topic almost neglected in health psychology as it roots in biological and experimental psychology. Nevertheless, it is of high importance for applied research and questions targeting fundamental processes related with health, e.g. its relationship to eating behavior or physical activity or its recovery during therapeutic treatment or its stability over time. Summary: The great variety of research on interoception should be introduced and new research avernues should be outlined. Order: Ellen Matthias, Anne Koch, Eleana Georgiou, Sarah weiss Discussant: Prof. Dr. Stefan Duschek