Organizer

Catherine Kerr, PhD

Brown University

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee

Catherine Kerr, PhD was director of translational neuroscience at the Contemplative Studies Initiative at Brown University. Her neuroscience research focused on neural dynamics underlying embodied attention and the sense of … MORE


Participants

Cynthia Price, PhD, LMP

University of Washington

Fellow

Jennifer Daubenmeier

University of California San Francisco

Barnaby Dunn

University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

Norman Farb, PhD

University of Toronto Mississauga

Fellow, Grantee

Wendy Hasenkamp, PhD

Science Director, Mind & Life Institute

Anne Klein, PhD

Rice University

Wolf Mehling, MD

University of California San Francisco

Fellow

Martin Paulus

University of California San Diego

Interoception can be broadly defined as the sense of signals originating within the body. As such, interoception is critical for our sense of embodiment, motivation, and well-being. And yet, despite its importance, interoception remains poorly understood within modern science. This paper reviews interdisciplinary perspectives on interoception, with the goal of presenting a unified perspective from diverse fields such as neuroscience, clinical practice, and contemplative studies. It is hoped that this integrative effort will advance our understanding of how interoception determines well-being, and identify the central challenges to such understanding. To this end, we introduce an expanded taxonomy of interoceptive processes, arguing that many of these processes can be understood through an emerging predictive coding model for mind–body integration. The model, which describes the tension between expected and felt body sensation, parallels contemplative theories, and implicates interoception in a variety of affective and psychosomatic disorders. We conclude that maladaptive construal of bodily sensations may lie at the heart of many contemporary maladies, and that contemplative practices may attenuate these interpretative biases, restoring a person’s sense of presence and agency in the world.

– Farb et a. (2015) Interoception, contemplative practice, and health (impactful open-access journal article that resulted from this meeting).


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