Table_1_Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Abilities, Emotion Processing and the Role of Early Life Stress in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.docx (661.5 kB)

Table_1_Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Abilities, Emotion Processing and the Role of Early Life Stress in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.docx

Download (661.5 kB)
posted on 2021-06-24, 04:37 authored by Konstantina Atanasova, Tobias Lotter, Wolfgang Reindl, Stefanie Lis

Perception of internal bodily sensations includes three dissociable processes: interoceptive accuracy, interoceptive sensibility, and interoceptive awareness. Interoceptive abilities play a crucial role in emotion processing and impairments of these processes have been reported in several psychiatric disorders. Studies investigating interoceptive abilities and their role in emotional experience in individuals with somatic disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are sparse. Recent findings suggested an association between adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and the development of gastrointestinal disorders. The aim of the current study was to investigate the associations between the different dimensions of interoception and emotional processing in IBD while taking ACE into account. We recruited IBD patients in clinical remission (n = 35) and 35 healthy control participants (HC) matched for age, education and IQ. Interoception was measured as a three-dimensional construct. Interoceptive accuracy was assessed with the heartbeat tracking task and interoceptive sensibility with a self-report measure (Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness questionnaire). Emotional processing was measured using an experimental task, where participants were asked to rate the subjectively perceived valence and arousal when presented with positive, neutral and negative visual stimuli. IBD patients significantly differed in two interoceptive sensibility domains, Emotional awareness and Not-distracting. Patients reported greater awareness of the connection between bodily sensations and emotional states, while showing a stronger tendency to use distraction from unpleasant sensations compared with HC. Higher emotional awareness was linked to higher perceived intensity and arousal of negative stimuli. The strength of this relation was dependent on the severity of ACE, with severer traumatization being associated with a stronger association between emotional awareness and perceived valence and arousal. Our findings suggest that it is the subjective component of interoception, especially the one assessing interoceptive abilities within the scope of emotional experience, which affects emotional processing in IBD. This is the first study providing evidence that IBD patients did not differ in their perception of visceral signals per se but only in the subjective ability to attribute certain physical sensations to physiological manifestations of emotions. Our findings support the hypothesis that ACE affect the association between interoception and emotional processing.


Usage metrics

    Frontiers in Psychiatry



    Ref. manager