Building the bodily self-awareness: Evidence for the convergence between interoceptive and exteroceptive information in a multilevel kernel density analysis study

Gerardo Salvato, Fabian Richter, Lucas Sedeño, Gabriella Bottini, Eraldo Paulesu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Exteroceptive and interoceptive signals shape and sustain the bodily self-awareness. The existence of a set of brain areas, supporting the integration of information coming from the inside and the outside of the body in building the sense of bodily self-awareness has been postulated, yet the evidence remains limited, a matter of discussion never assessed quantitatively. With the aim of unrevealing where in the brain interoceptive and exteroceptive signals may converge, we performed a meta-analysis on imaging studies of the sense of body ownership, modulated by external visuotactile stimulation, and studies on interoception, which involves the self-awareness for internal bodily sensations. Using a multilevel kernel density analysis, we found that processing of stimuli of the two domains converges primarily in the supramarginal gyrus bilaterally. Furthermore, we found a right-lateralized set of areas, including the precentral and postcentral, and superior temporal gyri. We discuss these results and propose this set of areas as ideal candidates to match multiple body-related signals contributing to the creation of a multidimensional representation of the bodily self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-418
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • bodily self
  • body awareness
  • body ownership
  • interoception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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