Research Category: Interoception and Emotional Processing

Emotional and somatic awareness are important in mental and physical health and stress-related disorders.
It is about “how the mind and body are related”.

・State of decreased awareness of emotions = “Alexithymia
・State of decreased awareness of the body = “Alexisomia”

These have been considered as characteristics of psychosomatic disorders, involved in the interaction process between emotions and the body.

In this study, we investigate the relationship between such emotional processes of mind and body and their physiological basis, especially with internal awareness and regulatory functions by the autonomic nervous system.

As the physiological basis of emotional and somatic awareness, “interoception” is important, and emotional processes such as awareness also include higher-order functions. In diseases, it is associated with pathological somatic amplification and organ hypersensitivity, but this relationship is not simple, and various factors from lower to higher levels complicate the relationship.

In these investigations, interdisciplinary examinations including not only psychosomatic medicine but also neuroscience (neurophysiology), clinical psychology, somatics, philosophy, etc., are necessary. We are collaborating with people from various fields to advance these investigations, including the following research meetings.

Related Projects

Society for Alexisomia Research

Related Columns and Articles

Kanbara, K., Fukunaga, M. Links among emotional awareness, somatic awareness and autonomic homeostatic processing. BioPsychoSocial Med 10, 16 (2016).


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