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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Bodily afferent information has been known for over a century, but only quite recently has this area of research, called visceroception, received more attention. The representation of visceroceptive information will be presented with particular emphasis on recent neuroimaging research. Visceroception involves a wide network of cortical and subcortical brain areas, among which particular emphasis will be dedicated to the insula and its putative role in self-awareness. In essence, the findings are consistent with the James-Lange theory of emotions and with Damasio’s “somatic-marker” hypothesis. Visceroception is much more than just the gut, and many more questions will need to be addressed in future research, for example, its relation to seemingly unrelated topics such as balance.

Keywords: balance, consciousness, emotion, insula, interoception, self-awareness, visceroception

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