PI Simone Schütz-Bosbach
The notion of predictive coding assumes that perception is an iterative process between prior knowledge and sensory feedback. To date, however, this perspective has been applied primarily to exteroceptive perception, such as vision and audition, as well as action. More recently, this predictive, inferential framework has theoretically also been suggested on interoception, the internal physiological condition the body is in. On this view subjective feeling states (i.e. emotion and self- awareness) are generated by active top-down inference on the internal and external causes of interoceptive afferents. The proposed project will provide a direct empirical investigation of this hypothesis by studying brain activity underlying interoceptive prediction by means of EEG and fMRI methodology in an established repetition suppression paradigm. We expect neural attenuation of interoceptive signals in response to expected compared to unexpected changes of interoceptive signals. Further studies shall investigate the specific role of the motor system in predicting sensory and bodily afferences. Finally, the neural correlates of attention to predictive exteroceptive and interoceptive signals shall be specified. The results of this project can help to illuminate interactions between cognition, perception, emotion as well as aspects of self-awareness.