- 心理学評論 (ISSN:03861058)
- vol.61, no.3, pp.301-321, 2018 (Released:2020-01-18)
Adequately recognizing one’s own emotion is an important ability for a healthy emotional life and appropriate behavior. This review article features interoception—the sensation of the internal and physiological bodily state—as a crucial factor in emotional experience. This review discusses a possible mechanism of emotion recognition through interoception, arguing several conditions for a healthy or unhealthy relationship between the body and the mind. First, a brief introduction to interoception is provided. It is proposed that the concept of interoception should be organized into two levels of process. The lower level is the process of individual internal organs (e.g., heart, gut, etc.), which corresponds to the interoception in a narrow sense. The higher level is the integrative process of these individual sensations, which is the interoception in a broad sense. The second section then reviews theories on the relation between the body and emotion, suggesting that interoception directly contributes to the subjective experience of arousal level. In addition, depending on the precision of arousal recognition, interoception may also indirectly underpin the identification of emotion. The third section of this paper discusses the clinical aspects of interoception. With regard to the pros and cons of interoceptive sensitivity, it seems to benefit the regulation of emotions, but it is also associated with certain clinical conditions such as high anxiety. It is important to examine the condition of alexithymia (i.e., affective agnosia), which usually involves the phenomena of alexisomia (i.e., difficulty in recognizing one’s physical condition) and somatosensory amplification (i.e., negative hypersensitivity). By reviewing the condition of autism spectrum disorders, which frequently accompany alexithymia and anxiety, the last section discusses several factors for body-mind interaction such as the difference between the accuracy of sensation and hypersensitivity, the balance between bottom-up and top-down process, and particularly the pivotal role of the sensory integration process.