Neural divergence and convergence for interoceptive and somatosensory attention and detection [article]

Aleksandra M Herman, Clare E Palmer, Ruben Azevedo, Manos Tsakiris
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
Body awareness is constructed by signals originating from within and outside the body. How do these apparently divergent signals converge? We developed a signal detection task to study the neural convergence and divergence of interoceptive and somatosensory signals. Participants focused on either cardiac or tactile events and reported their presence or absence. Beyond some evidence of divergence, we observed a robust overlap in the pattern of activation evoked across both conditions in frontal
more » ... ditions in frontal areas including the insular cortex, as well as parietal and occipital areas, and for both attention and detection of these signals. Psycho-physiological interaction analysis revealed that right insular cortex connectivity was modulated by the conscious detection of both types of sensations, but with greater connectivity to occipito-parietal regions when attending to cardiac signals. Our findings speak in favour of the inherent convergence of bodily-related signals and move beyond the apparent antagonism between exteroception and interoception.
doi:10.1101/2020.06.04.134288 fatcat:lqcfugb3xrebpa4v3k3bbrjp3q