Enhancing human emotions with interoceptive technologies delivering controlled somatosensory stimulation

Schoeller, F., Haar, A. J. H., Jain, A., & Maes, P. (2019). Enhancing human emotions with interoceptive technologies. Physics of life reviews.


Historically, multiple theories have posited an active, causal role for perceived bodily states in the creation of human emotion. Recent evidence for embodied cognition, i.e. the role for the entire body in cognition, and support for models positing a key role for the maintenance of bodily homeostasis in the creation of consciousness, i.e. active inference, call for the test of causal rather than correlational links between changes in bodily state and changes in affective state. Here, we review challenges in the affective and interoceptive neurosciences, and novel technologies designed to open avenues for applied research. The controlled stimulation of body signals underlying human emotions and the constant feedback loop between actual and expected sensations during interoceptive processing allows for intervention on higher cognitive functioning. Modulating body perception and human emotions through somatosensory interfaces and emotion prosthesis offer new experimental and clinical tools for applied affective neuroscience. 

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