6 research outputs found

    Interoception Toolkit: A Resource For Occupational Therapy Practitioners To Use With Children And Their Families

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    Purpose: Interoception refers to one’s ability to sense the internal condition of the body, including sensory messages from body parts and internal organs (Craig, 2002). In the past 30 years, scientists and researchers have discovered a powerful connection between interoceptive appraisal skills and self-regulation, emotional identification, emotional regulation, social skills, and nearly every task in daily life (Mahler, 2017). The purpose of this project is to provide practitioners with an educational platform that describes the sensorimotor skill of interoception applied throughout the occupational therapy process. Methods: The development of this product was initiated with a thorough review of literature to identify areas of need. Types of sources included online databases such as CINAHL, Pubmed, Google Scholar, and the University of North Dakota Scholarly Commons. Key resources that informed the project discussed the neuroscience of interoception (Critchley et al., 2014; Stern et al., 2017; Quadt, Critchley, & Garfinkel, 2018), interoception and self-regulation, (Füstös et al., 2012; Mahler, 2017), interoception and emotion (Mahler, 2017; Nummenmaa et al., 2014; Herbert et al., 2011; Mahler 2019), interoception and occupations/tasks (Williams & Shellenberger, 1996), and the relationship between interoception and contextual factors (Dean et al., 2010; Zhou et al., 2021; Stern et al., 2017). After careful review of theories and models, the Ecological Model of Human Performance (EHP) was chosen to guide the development and content within the product. EHP emphasizes the dynamic, interdependent relationship between a person’s skills/abilities and the contexts in which they are embedded in (Dunn, 2017). Results: An interoception toolkit and manual for practitioners was created. This toolkit and manual has six sections: Introduction to the Manual, Introduction to Interoception, Evaluation/Assessment of Interoception, Interoception Intervention Framework, Documentation and Outcomes, and Opportunities for Specialized Interoception Programming. Conclusion: This educational platform was created to increase awareness of, and increase the use of interoception-based practices in pediatric occupational therapy. It is anticipated that this product will address a need for innovative, evidence-based occupational therapy interventions that target self-regulation, emotional regulation, social skills, and self-care skills for children

    An interoceptive predictive coding model of conscious presence

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    We describe a theoretical model of the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying conscious presence and its disturbances. The model is based on interoceptive prediction error and is informed by predictive models of agency, general models of hierarchical predictive coding and dopaminergic signaling in cortex, the role of the anterior insular cortex (AIC) in interoception and emotion, and cognitive neuroscience evidence from studies of virtual reality and of psychiatric disorders of presence, specifically depersonalization/derealization disorder. The model associates presence with successful suppression by top-down predictions of informative interoceptive signals evoked by autonomic control signals and, indirectly, by visceral responses to afferent sensory signals. The model connects presence to agency by allowing that predicted interoceptive signals will depend on whether afferent sensory signals are determined, by a parallel predictive-coding mechanism, to be self-generated or externally caused. Anatomically, we identify the AIC as the likely locus of key neural comparator mechanisms. Our model integrates a broad range of previously disparate evidence, makes predictions for conjoint manipulations of agency and presence, offers a new view of emotion as interoceptive inference, and represents a step toward a mechanistic account of a fundamental phenomenological property of consciousness

    Interoception:The forgotten modality in perceptual grounding of abstract and concrete concepts

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    Conceptual representations are perceptually grounded, but when investigating which perceptual modalities are involved, researchers have typically restricted their consideration to vision, touch, hearing, taste and smell. However, there is another major modality of perceptual information that is distinct from these traditional five senses; that is, interoception, or sensations inside the body. In this paper, we use megastudy data (modality-specific ratings of perceptual strength for over 32 000 words) to explore how interoceptive information contributes to the perceptual grounding of abstract and concrete concepts. We report how interoceptive strength captures a distinct form of perceptual experience across the abstract–concrete spectrum, but is markedly more important to abstract concepts (e.g. hungry, serenity) than to concrete concepts (e.g. capacity, rainy). In particular, interoception dominates emotion concepts, especially negative emotions relating to fear and sadness, moreso than other concepts of equivalent abstractness and valence. Finally, we examine whether interoceptive strength represents valuable information in conceptual content by investigating its role in concreteness effects in word recognition, and find that it enhances semantic facilitation over and above the traditional five sensory modalities. Overall, these findings suggest that interoception has comparable status to other modalities in contributing to the perceptual grounding of abstract and concrete concepts. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Varieties of abstract concepts: development, use and representation in the brain'

    Backwards is the way forward: feedback in the cortical hierarchy predicts the expected future

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    Clark offers a powerful description of the brain as a prediction machine, which offers progress on two distinct levels. First, on an abstract conceptual level, it provides a unifying framework for perception, action, and cognition (including subdivisions such as attention, expectation, and imagination). Second, hierarchical prediction offers progress on a concrete descriptive level for testing and constraining conceptual elements and mechanisms of predictive coding models (estimation of predictions, prediction errors, and internal models)

    Linking language and emotion: how emotion is understood in language comprehension, production and prediction using psycholinguistic methods

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    Emotions are an integral part of why and how we use language in everyday life. We communicate our concerns, express our woes, and share our joy through the use of non-verbal and verbal language. Yet there is a limited understanding of when and how emotional language is processed differently to neutral language, or of how emotional information facilitates or inhibits language processing. Indeed, various efforts have been made to bring back emotions into the discipline of psycholinguistics in the last decade. This can be seen in many interdisciplinary models focusing on the role played by emotion in each aspect of linguistic experience. In this thesis, I answer this call and pursue questions that remain unanswered in psycholinguistics regarding its interaction with emotion. The general trend that I am using to bring emotion into psycholinguistic research is straightforward. Where applicable and relevant, I use well-established tasks or paradigms to investigate the effects of emotional content in language processing. Hence, I focused on three main areas of language processing: comprehension, production and prediction. The first experimental chapter includes a series of experiments utilising the Modality Switching Paradigm to investigate whether sentences describing emotional states are processed differently from sentences describing cognitive states. No switching effects were found consistently in my 3 experiments. My results suggest that these distinct classes of interoceptive concepts, such as ‘thinking’ or ‘being happy’, are not processed differently from each other, suggesting that people do not switch attention between different interoceptive systems when comprehending emotional or cognitive sentences. I discuss the implications for grounded cognition theory in the embodiment literature. In my second experimental chapter, I used the Cumulative Semantic Interference Paradigm to investigate these two questions: (1) whether emotion concepts interfere with one another when repeatedly retrieved (emotion label objects), and (2) whether similar interference occurs for concrete objects that share similar valence association (emotion-laden objects). This could indicate that people use information such as valence and arousal to group objects in semantic memory. I found that interference occurs when people retrieve direct emotion labels repeatedly (e.g., “happy” and “sad”) but not when they retrieve the names of concrete objects that have similar emotion connotations (e.g., “puppy” and “rainbow”). I discuss my findings in terms of the different types of information that support representation of abstract vs. concrete concepts. In my final experimental chapter, I used the Visual World Paradigm to investigate whether the emotional state of an agent is used to inform predictions during sentence processing. I found that people do use the description of emotional state of an agent (e.g., “The boy is happy”) to predict the cause of that affective state during sentence processing (e.g., “because he was given an ice-cream”). A key result here is that people were more likely to fixate on the emotionally congruent objects (e.g., ice-cream) compared to incongruent objects (e.g., broccoli). This suggests that people rapidly and automatically inform predictions about upcoming sentence information based on the emotional state of the agent. I discuss our findings as a novel contribution to the Visual World literature. I conducted a diverse set of experiments using a range of established psycholinguistic methods to investigate the roles of emotional information in language processing. I found clear results in the eye-tracking study but inconsistent effects in both switching and interference studies. I interpret these mixed findings in the following way: emotional content does not always have effects in language processing and that effect are most likely in tasks that explicitly require participants to simulate emotion states in some way. Regardless, not only was I successful in finding some novel results by extending previous tasks, but I was also able to show that this is an avenue that can be explored more to advance the affective psycholinguistic field

    Linking body cues to emotions for elementary aged children: an understanding by design curriculum for social-emotional learning

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    America’s elementary-aged children are struggling in school. Teachers and parents report that children are demonstrating difficulty attending to and staying engaged with instructional activities in classrooms nationwide. As a result, teachers must manage children's dysregulation as it may impact their immediate learning abilities and produce further downstream consequences in the K-12 environment. These elementary-aged children are often referred to school-based occupational therapy. The referrals indicate social-emotional learning (SEL) deficits. These social-emotional processes and the child’s learning are negatively impacted by increased anxiety. Evidence supports these findings. In fact, the current literature on the topic reveals multiple contributing factors including sensory functions that link body cues to emotions. This doctoral project provides an overview of My Body Feelings (My BF) curriculum. This project details the curriculum’s development, and the specific connection of school-based interventions. My BF is informed by three educational theories including Sociocultural Theory, Social Cognitive Theory, and the Theory of Constructed Emotions. Curriculum materials and lessons are organized as well as structured for the instructors using the Understanding by Design Framework. The program incorporates current evidence-based intervention strategies in 21 accessible 30-minute sessions complete with take home Exit Tickets. The result is an educational curriculum which directly addresses decreased self-regulation in children. The skills developed in the program will drive situation-specific coping skill development in children in grade levels 1-5. The anticipated outcome is improved emotional health and well-being of today's elementary-aged children impacting their important occupational role of student