As humans, we perceive feelings from our bodies that relate our state of well-being, our energy and stress levels, our mood and disposition. How do we have these feelings? What neural processes do they represent? Recent functional anatomical work has detailed an afferent neural system in primates and in humans that represents all aspects of the physiological condition of the physical body. This system constitutes a representation of 'the material me', and might provide a foundation for subjective feelings, emotion and self-awareness.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Open Access articles citing this article.
Cardiogenic control of affective behavioural state
Nature Open Access 01 March 2023
The cellular coding of temperature in the mammalian cortex
Nature Open Access 08 February 2023
The Impact of a Short Body–Focused Meditation on Body Ownership and Interoceptive Abilities
Mindfulness Open Access 22 December 2022
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 12 print issues and online access
$189.00 per year
only $15.75 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Get just this article for as long as you need it
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Weber, E. H. Handwörterbuch des Physiologie mit Rücksicht auf physiologische Pathologie Bd 3, Abt 2 (ed. Wagner, R.) 481–588 (Biewig und Sohn, Braunschweig, Germany, 1846).
Sherrington, C. S. Text-book of Physiology (ed. Schäfer, E. A.) 920–1001 (Pentland, Edinburgh, UK, 1900).
James, W. The Principles of Psychology [online] 〈http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/James/Principles/index.htm〉 (1890).
Sherrington, C. S. The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1948).
Craig, A. D., Chen, K., Bandy, D. & Reiman, E. M. Thermosensory activation of insular cortex. Nature Neurosci. 3, 184–190 (2000).
Craig, A. D. Nervous System Plasticity and Chronic Pain (eds Sandkühler, J., Bromm, B. & Gebhart, G. F.) 137–151 (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2000).
Craig, A. D. The Emotional Motor System (eds Holstege, G., Bandler, R. & Saper, C. B.) 225–242 (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1996).
Bonica, J. J. The Management of Pain (ed. Bonica, J. J.) 28–95 (Lea & Fibiger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1990).
Willis, W. D. & Westlund, K. N. Neuroanatomy of the pain system and of the pathways that modulate pain. J. Clin. Neurophysiol. 14, 2–31 (1997).
Cechetto, D. F. & Saper, C. B. Central Regulation of Autonomic Function (eds Loewy, A. D. & Spyer, K. M.) 208–223 (Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1990).
Cameron, O. G. Visceral Sensory Neuroscience (Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, UK, 2002).
Head, H. & Holmes, G. Sensory disturbances from cerebral lesions. Brain 34, 102–254 (1911).
Melzack, R. & Wall, P. D. Pain mechanisms: a new theory. Science 150, 971–979 (1965).
Price, D. D. & Dubner, R. Neurons that subserve the sensory-discriminative aspects of pain. Pain 3, 307–338 (1977).
Cannon, W. B. The Wisdom of the Body (Norton & Co., New York, 1939).
May, W. P. The afferent path. Brain 29, 742–803 (1906).
Bishop, G. H. The relation between nerve fiber size and sensory modality: phylogenetic implications of the afferent innervation of cortex. J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 128, 89–114 (1959).
Melzack, R. & Casey, K. L. The Skin Senses (ed. Kenshalo, D. R.) 423–443 (Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, 1968).
Cabanac, M. Preferred skin temperature as a function of internal and mean skin temperature. J. Appl. Physiol. 33, 699–703 (1972).
Mower, G. Perceived intensity of peripheral thermal stimuli is independent of internal body temperature. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 90, 1152–1155 (1976).
Blatteis, C. M. (ed.) Physiology and Pathophysiology of Temperature Regulation (World Scientific, Singapore, 1998).
Satinoff, E. Neural organization and evolution of thermal regulation in mammals. Science 201, 16–22 (1978).
Altman, J. & Bayer, S. A. The development of the rat spinal cord. Adv. Anat. Embryol. Cell Biol. 85, 1–164 (1984).
Chen, Z. F. et al. The paired homeodomain protein DRG11 is required for the projection of cutaneous sensory afferent fibers to the dorsal spinal cord. Neuron 31, 59–73 (2001).
Woodbury, C. J., Ritter, A. M. & Koerber, H. R. Central anatomy of individual rapidly adapting low-threshold mechanoreceptors innervating the 'hairy' skin of newborn mice: early maturation of hair follicle afferents. J. Comp. Neurol. 436, 304–323 (2001).
MacIver, M. B. & Tanelian, D. L. Activation of C fibers by metabolic perturbations associated with tourniquet ischemia. Anesthesiology 76, 617–623 (1992).
Hill, J. M., Pickar, J. G., Parrish, M. D. & Kaufman, M. P. Effects of hypoxia on the discharge of group III and IV muscle afferents in cats. J. Appl. Physiol. 73, 2524–2529 (1992).
Petho, G., Porszasz, R., Peitl, B. & Szolcsanyi, J. Spike generation from dorsal roots and cutaneous afferents by hypoxia or hypercapnia in the rat in vivo. Exp. Physiol. 84, 1–15 (1999).
Cook, S. P. & McCleskey, E. W. Cell damage excites nociceptors through release of cytosolic ATP. Pain 95, 41–47 (2002).
Carlton, S. M., Du, J., Zhou, S. & Coggeshall, R. E. Tonic control of peripheral cutaneous nociceptors by somatostatin receptors. J. Neurosci. 21, 4042–4049 (2001).
Cervero, F. & Janig, W. Visceral nociceptors: a new world order? Trends Neurosci. 15, 374–378 (1992).
Perl, E. R. Neurobiology of Nociceptors (eds Belmonte, C. & Cervero, F.) 5–36 (Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, UK, 1996).
Iggo, A. Cutaneous mechanoreceptors with afferent C fibres. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 152, 337–353 (1960).
Mense, S. & Meyer, H. Different types of slowly conducting afferent units in cat skeletal muscle and tendon. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 363, 403–417 (1985).
Gybels, J., Handwerker, H. O. & VanHees, J. A comparison between the discharges of human nociceptive nerve fibres and the subject's ratings of his sensations. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 292, 193–206 (1979).
Adreani, C. M. & Kaufman, M. P. Effect of arterial occlusion on responses of group III and IV afferents to dynamic exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 84, 1827–1833 (1998).
Schaible, H. G. & Schmidt, R. F. Activation of groups III and IV sensory units in medial articular nerve by local mechanical stimulation of knee joint. J. Neurophysiol. 49, 35–44 (1983).
Vallbo, A. B., Olausson, H. & Wessberg, J. Unmyelinated afferents constitute a second system coding tactile stimuli of the human hairy skin. J. Neurophysiol. 81, 2753–2763 (1999).
Light, A. R. & Willcockson, H. H. Spinal laminae I–II neurons in rat recorded in vivo in whole cell, tight seal configuration: properties and opioid responses. J. Neurophysiol. 82, 3316–3326 (1999).
Craig, A. D. Propriospinal input to thoracolumbar sympathetic nuclei from cervical and lumbar lamina I neurons in the cat and the monkey. J. Comp. Neurol. 331, 517–530 (1993).
Craig, A. D. Distribution of brainstem projections from spinal lamina I neurons in the cat and the monkey. J. Comp. Neurol. 361, 225–248 (1995).
Miller, A. D. & Ruggiero, D. A. Emetic reflex arc revealed by expression of the immediate-early gene c-fos in the cat. J. Neurosci. 14, 871–888 (1994).
Sato, A. & Schmidt, R. F. Somatosympathetic reflexes: afferent fibers, central pathways, discharge characteristics. Physiol. Rev. 53, 916–947 (1973).
Buijs, R. M., Chun, S. J., Niijima, A., Romijn, H. J. & Nagai, K. Parasympathetic and sympathetic control of the pancreas: a role for the suprachiasmatic nucleus and other hypothalamic centers that are involved in the regulation of food intake. J. Comp. Neurol. 431, 405–423 (2001).
Diesel, D. A., Tucker, A. & Robertshaw, D. Cold-induced changes in breathing pattern as a strategy to reduce respiratory heat loss. J. Appl. Physiol. 69, 1946–1952 (1990).
Holstege, G. Direct and indirect pathways to lamina I in the medulla oblongata and spinal cord of the cat. Prog. Brain Res. 77, 47–94 (1988).
Han, Z.-S., Zhang, E.-T. & Craig, A. D. Nociceptive and thermoreceptive lamina I neurons are anatomically distinct. Nature Neurosci. 1, 218–225 (1998).
Craig, A. D., Krout, K. & Andrew, D. Quantitative response characteristics of thermoreceptive and nociceptive lamina I spinothalamic neurons in the cat. J. Neurophysiol. 86, 1459–1480 (2001).
Craig, A. D. & Andrew, D. Responses of spinothalamic lamina I neurons to repeated brief contact heat stimulation in the cat. J. Neurophysiol. 87, 1902–1914 (2002).
Andrew, D. & Craig, A. D. Responses of spinothalamic lamina I neurons to maintained noxious mechanical stimulation in the cat. J. Neurophysiol. 87, 1889–1901 (2002).
Andrew, D. & Craig, A. D. Spinothalamic lamina I neurones selectively responsive to cutaneous warming in cats. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 537, 489–495 (2001).
Craig, A. D. & Kniffki, K.-D. Spinothalamic lumbosacral lamina I cells responsive to skin and muscle stimulation in the cat. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 365, 197–221 (1985).
Light, A. R. The Initial Processing of Pain and Its Descending Control: Spinal and Trigeminal Systems (Karger, Basel, Switzerland, 1992).
Cervero, F. & Tattersall, J. E. Somatic and visceral inputs to the thoracic spinal cord of the cat: marginal zone (lamina I) of the dorsal horn. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 383, 383–395 (1987).
Andrew, D. & Craig, A. D. Spinothalamic lamina I neurons selectively sensitive to histamine: a central neural pathway for itch. Nature Neurosci. 4, 72–77 (2001).
Gebhart, G. F. & Ness, T. J. Central mechanisms of visceral pain. Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 69, 627–634 (1991).
Foreman, R. D. Mechanisms of cardiac pain. Annu. Rev. Physiol. 61, 143–167 (1999).
Rosas-Arellano, M. P., Solano-Flores, L. P. & Ciriello, J. c-Fos induction in spinal cord neurons after renal arterial or venous occlusion. Am. J. Physiol. 276, R120–R127 (1999).
Wilson, L. B., Andrew, D. & Craig, A. D. Activation of spinobulbar lamina I neurons by static muscle contraction. J. Neurophysiol. 87, 1641–1645 (2002).
Milne, R. J., Foreman, R. D. & Willis, W. D. Responses of primate spinothalamic neurons located in the sacral intermediomedial gray (Stilling's nucleus) to proprioceptive input from the tail. Brain Res. 234, 227–236 (1982).
Carstens, E. Responses of rat spinal dorsal horn neurons to intracutaneous microinjection of histamine, capsaicin, and other irritants. J. Neurophysiol. 77, 2499–2514 (1997).
Craig, A. D. & Bushnell, M. C. The thermal grill illusion: unmasking the burn of cold pain. Science 265, 252–255 (1994).
Craig, A. D., Reiman, E. M., Evans, A. & Bushnell, M. C. Functional imaging of an illusion of pain. Nature 384, 258–260 (1996).
Yarnitsky, D. & Ochoa, J. L. Release of cold-induced burning pain by block of cold-specific afferent input. Brain 113, 893–902 (1990).
Sinoway, L. I., Hill, J. M., Pickar, J. G. & Kaufman, M. P. Effects of contraction and lactic acid on the discharge of group III muscle afferents in cats. J. Neurophysiol. 69, 1053–1059 (1993).
Pickar, J. G., Hill, J. M. & Kaufman, M. P. Dynamic exercise stimulates group III muscle afferents. J. Neurophysiol. 71, 753–760 (1994).
LeDoux, J. F. & Wilson, L. B. Neuronal application of capsaicin modulates somatic pressor reflexes. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 281, R868–R877 (2001).
Simone, D. A., Marchettini, P., Caputi, G. & Ochoa, J. L. Identification of muscle afferents subserving sensation of deep pain in humans. J. Neurophysiol. 72, 883–889 (1994).
Villanueva, L. & Nathan, P. W. in Proc. 9th World Congr. Pain (eds Devor, M., Rowbotham, M. C. & Wiesenfeld-Hallin, Z.) 371–386 (IASP Press, Seattle, Washington, 2000).
Craig, A. D., Bushnell, M. C., Zhang, E.-T. & Blomqvist, A. A thalamic nucleus specific for pain and temperature sensation. Nature 372, 770–773 (1994).
Blomqvist, A., Zhang, E. T. & Craig, A. D. Cytoarchitectonic and immunohistochemical characterization of a specific pain and temperature relay, the posterior portion of the ventral medial nucleus, in the human thalamus. Brain 123, 601–619 (2000).
Blomqvist, A., Ericson, A. C., Craig, A. D. & Broman, J. Evidence for glutamate as a neurotransmitter in spinothalamic tract terminals in the posterior region of owl monkeys. Exp. Brain Res. 108, 33–44 (1996).
Beckstead, R. M., Morse, J. R. & Norgren, R. The nucleus of the solitary tract in the monkey: projections to the thalamus and brain stem nuclei. J. Comp. Neurol. 190, 259–282 (1980).
Burstein, R. Somatosensory and visceral input to the hypothalamus and limbic system. Prog. Brain Res. 107, 257–267 (1996).
Craig, A. D., Zhang, E. T. & Blomqvist, A. A distinct thermoreceptive subregion of lamina I in nucleus caudalis of the owl monkey. J. Comp. Neurol. 404, 221–234 (1999).
Lenz, F. A. et al. Neurons in the area of human thalamic nucleus ventralis caudalis respond to painful heat stimuli. Brain Res. 623, 235–240 (1993).
Davis, K. D. et al. Thalamic relay site for cold perception in humans. J. Neurophysiol. 81, 1970–1973 (1999).
Dostrovsky, J. O., Wells, F. E. B. & Tasker, R. R. in Processing and Inhibition of Nociceptive Information, Int. Congr. Ser. 989 (eds Inoka, R., Shigenaga, Y. & Tohyama, M.) 115–120 (Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam, 1992).
Lenz, F. A. et al. The sensation of angina can be evoked by stimulation of the human thalamus. Pain 59, 119–125 (1994).
Lenz, F. A. et al. Thermal and pain sensations evoked by microstimulation in the area of human ventrocaudal nucleus. J. Neurophysiol. 70, 200–212 (1993).
Pritchard, T. C., Hamilton, R. B., Morse, J. R. & Norgren, R. Projections of thalamic gustatory and lingual areas in the monkey, Macaca fascicularis. J. Comp. Neurol. 244, 213–228 (1986).
Yaxley, S., Rolls, E. T. & Sienkiewicz, Z. J. Gustatory responses of single neurons in the insula of the macaque monkey. J. Neurophysiol. 63, 689–700 (1990).
Schmahmann, J. D. & Leifer, D. Parietal pseudothalamic pain syndrome: clinical features and anatomic correlates. Arch. Neurol. 49, 1032–1037 (1992).
Greenspan, J. D. & Winfield, J. A. Reversible pain and tactile deficits associated with a cerebral tumor compressing the posterior insula and parietal operculum. Pain 50, 29–39 (1992).
Burton, H. & Jones, E. G. The posterior thalamic region and its cortical projection in new world and old world monkeys. J. Comp. Neurol. 168, 249–302 (1976).
Disbrow, E., Roberts, T. & Krubitzer, L. Somatotopic organization of cortical fields in the lateral sulcus of Homo sapiens: evidence for SII and PV. J. Comp. Neurol. 418, 1–21 (2000).
Hofbauer, R. K., Rainville, P., Duncan, G. H. & Bushnell, M. C. Cortical representation of the sensory dimension of pain. J. Neurophysiol. 86, 402–411 (2001).
Coghill, R. C., Sang, C. N., Maisog, J. H. & Iadarola, M. J. Pain intensity processing within the human brain: a bilateral, distributed mechanism. J. Neurophysiol. 82, 1934–1943 (1999).
Derbyshire, S. W. G. & Jones, A. K. P. Cerebral responses to a continual tonic pain stimulus measured using positron emission tomography. Pain 76, 127–135 (1998).
Casey, K. L. Forebrain mechanisms of nociception and pain — analysis through imaging. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 96, 7668–7674 (1999).
Brooks, J. C., Nurmikko, T. J., Bimson, W. E., Singh, K. D. & Roberts, N. fMRI of thermal pain: effects of stimulus laterality and attention. Neuroimage 15, 293–301 (2002).
Kupers, R. C., Gybels, J. M. & Gjedde, A. Positron emission tomography study of a chronic pain patient successfully treated with somatosensory thalamic stimulation. Pain 87, 295–302 (2000).
Peyron, R. et al. Parietal and cingulate processes in central pain. A combined positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of an unusual case. Pain 84, 77–87 (2000).
Drzezga, A. et al. Central activation by histamine-induced itch: analogies to pain processing: a correlational analysis of O-15 H2O positron emission tomography studies. Pain 92, 295–305 (2001).
King, A. B., Menon, R. S., Hachinski, V. & Cechetto, D. F. Human forebrain activation by visceral stimuli. J. Comp. Neurol. 413, 572–582 (1999).
Williamson, J. W., McColl, R., Mathews, D., Ginsburg, M. & Mitchell, J. H. Activation of the insular cortex is affected by the intensity of exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 87, 1213–1219 (1999).
Banzett, R. B. et al. Breathlessness in humans activates insular cortex. Neuroreport 11, 2117–2120 (2000).
Tataranni, P. A. et al. Neuroanatomical correlates of hunger and satiation in humans using positron emission tomography. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 96, 4569–4574 (1999).
Denton, D. et al. Neuroimaging of genesis and satiation of thirst and an interoceptor-driven theory of origins of primary consciousness. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 96, 5304–5309 (1999).
Kinomura, S. et al. Functional anatomy of taste perception in the human brain studied with positron emission tomography. Brain Res. 659, 263–266 (1994).
Olausson, H. et al. Unmyelinated tactile afferents in humans: functional role and cortical projections. Nature Neurosci. (doi:10.1038/nn896).
White, J. C. & Sweet, W. H. Pain and the Neurosurgeon: a Forty-Year Experience (Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, 1969).
Sanchez, M. M., Young, L. J., Plotsky, P. M. & Insel, T. R. Autoradiographic and in situ hybridization localization of corticotropin-releasing factor 1 and 2 receptors in nonhuman primate brain. J. Comp. Neurol. 408, 365–377 (1999).
Appenzeller, O. & Oribe, E. The Autonomic Nervous System: an Introduction to Basic and Clinical Concepts (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1997).
Norrsell, U. & Craig, A. D. Behavioral thermosensitivity after lesions of thalamic target areas of a thermosensory spinothalamic pathway in the cat. J. Neurophysiol. 82, 611–625 (1999).
Craig, A. D. A new version of the thalamic disinhibition hypothesis of central pain. Pain Forum 7, 1–14 (1998).
Mesulam, M.-M. & Mufson, E. J. Insula of the old world monkey. III. Efferent cortical output and comments on function. J. Comp. Neurol. 212, 38–52 (1982).
Devinsky, O., Morrell, M. J. & Vogt, B. A. Contributions of anterior cingulate cortex to behaviour. Brain 118, 279–306 (1995).
Yasui, Y., Breder, C. D., Saper, C. B. & Cechetto, D. F. Autonomic responses and efferent pathways from the insular cortex in the rat. J. Comp. Neurol. 303, 355–374 (1991).
Floyd, N. S., Price, J. L., Ferry, A. T., Keay, K. A. & Bandler, R. Orbitomedial prefrontal cortical projections to distinct longitudinal columns of the periaqueductal gray in the rat. J. Comp. Neurol. 422, 556–578 (2000).
Frith, C. D. & Frith, U. Interacting minds — a biological basis. Science 286, 1692–1695 (1999).
Paus, T. Primate anterior cingulate cortex: where motor control, drive and cognition interface. Nature Rev. Neurosci. 2, 417–424 (2001).
Johnson, S. C. et al. Neural correlates of self-reflection. Brain (in the press).
Talbot, J. D. et al. Multiple representations of pain in human cerebral cortex. Science 251, 1355–1358 (1991).
Rainville, P., Duncan, G. H., Price, D. D., Carrier, B. & Bushnell, M. C. Pain affect encoded in human anterior cingulate but not somatosensory cortex. Science 277, 968–971 (1997).
Krout, K. E. & Loewy, A. D. Parabrachial nucleus projections to midline and intralaminar thalamic nuclei of the rat. J. Comp. Neurol. 428, 475–494 (2000).
Johansen, J. P., Fields, H. L. & Manning, B. H. The affective component of pain in rodents: direct evidence for a contribution of the anterior cingulate cortex. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 98, 8077–8082 (2001).
Gabriel, M., Kubota, Y., Sparenborg, S., Straube, K. & Vogt, B. A. Effects of cingulate cortical lesions on avoidance learning and training-induced unit activity in rabbits. Exp. Brain Res. 86, 585–600 (1991).
Pritchard, T. C., Macaluso, D. A. & Eslinger, P. J. Taste perception in patients with insular cortex lesions. Behav. Neurosci. 113, 663–671 (1999).
de Araujo, I. E. T., Kringelbach, M. L. & Rolls, E. T. Orbitofrontal cortex responses to the synergistic combination of umami stimuli. Neuroimage 13, S967 (2002).
Reiman, E. M. The application of positron emission tomography to the study of normal and pathological emotions. J. Clin. Psychiatry 58, 4–12 (1997).
Mayberg, H. S. et al. Reciprocal limbic-cortical function and negative mood: converging PET findings in depression and normal sadness. Am. J. Psychiatry 156, 675–682 (1999).
Damasio, A. R. et al. Subcortical and cortical brain activity during the feeling of self-generated emotions. Nature Neurosci. 3, 1049–1056 (2000).
Phillips, M. L. et al. A specific neural substrate for perceiving facial expressions of disgust. Nature 389, 495–498 (1997).
Benkelfat, C. et al. Functional neuroanatomy of CCK4-induced anxiety in normal healthy volunteers. Am. J. Psychiatry 152, 1180–1184 (1995).
Ploghaus, A. et al. Dissociating pain from its anticipation in the human brain. Science 284, 1979–1981 (1999).
Blood, A. J. & Zatorre, R. J. Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 98, 11818–11823 (2001).
Stoleru, S. et al. Neuroanatomical correlates of visually evoked sexual arousal in human males. Arch. Sex. Behav. 28, 1–21 (1999).
Winston, J. S., Strange, B. A., O'Doherty, J. & Dolan, R. J. Automatic and intentional brain responses during evaluation of trustworthiness of faces. Nature Neurosci. 5, 277–283 (2002).
Adolphs, R. Trust in the brain. Nature Neurosci. 5, 192–193 (2002).
Damasio, A. R. Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (Putnam, New York, 1993).
Farrer, C. & Frith, C. D. Experiencing oneself vs another person as being the cause of an action: the neural correlates of the experience of agency. Neuroimage 15, 596–603 (2002).
Carmichael, S. T. & Price, J. L. Sensory and premotor connections of the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex of macaque monkeys. J. Comp. Neurol. 363, 642–664 (1995).
Chikama, M., McFarland, N. R., Amaral, D. G. & Haber, S. N. Insular cortical projections to functional regions of the striatum correlate with cortical cytoarchitectonic organization in the primate. J. Neurosci. 17, 9686–9705 (1997).
Becerra, L., Breiter, H. C., Wise, R., Gonzalez, R. G. & Borsook, D. Reward circuitry activation by noxious thermal stimuli. Neuron 32, 927–946 (2001).
O'Doherty, J., Rolls, E. T., Francis, S., Bowtell, R. & McGlone, F. Representation of pleasant and aversive taste in the human brain. J. Neurophysiol. 85, 1315–1321 (2001).
Bartels, A. & Zeki, S. The neural basis of romantic love. Neuroreport 11, 3829–3834 (2000).
Petrovic, P., Kalso, E., Petersson, K. M. & Ingvar, M. Placebo and opioid analgesia — imaging a shared neuronal network. Science 295, 1737–1740 (2002).
Carmichael, S. T. & Price, J. L. Connectional networks within the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex of macaque monkeys. J. Comp. Neurol. 371, 179–207 (1996).
Ongur, D. & Price, J. L. The organization of networks within the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex of rats, monkeys and humans. Cereb. Cortex 10, 206–219 (2000).
Francis, S. et al. The representation of pleasant touch in the brain and its relationship with taste and olfactory areas. Neuroreport 10, 453–459 (1999).
Royet, J. P. et al. Emotional responses to pleasant and unpleasant olfactory, visual, and auditory stimuli: a positron emission tomography study. J. Neurosci. 20, 7752–7759 (2000).
Rolls, E. T. The Brain and Emotion (Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, UK, 1999).
Janig, W. Neurobiology of visceral afferent neurons: neuroanatomy, functions, organ regulations and sensations. Biol. Psychol. 42, 29–51 (1996).
Loewy, A. D. & Spyer, K. M. Central Regulation of Autonomic Functions (Oxford, New York, 1990).
Sawchenko, P. E. et al. in The Emotional Motor System (eds Holstege, G., Bandler, R. & Saper, C. B.) 201–224 (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1996).
Swanson, L. W. Cerebral hemisphere regulation of motivated behavior. Brain Res. 886, 113–164 (2000).
Critchley, H. D., Mathias, C. J. & Dolan, R. J. Neuroanatomical basis for first- and second-order representations of bodily states. Nature Neurosci. 4, 207–212 (2001).
Potts, J. T. Exercise and sensory integration. Role of the nucleus tractus solitarius. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 940, 221–236 (2001).
Zagon, A. Does the vagus nerve mediate the sixth sense? Trends Neurosci. 24, 671–673 (2001).
Ness, T. J., Fillingim, R. B., Randich, A., Backensto, E. M. & Faught, E. Low intensity vagal nerve stimulation lowers human thermal pain thresholds. Pain 86, 81–85 (2000).
Chandler, M. J., Zhang, J., Qin, C. & Foreman, R. D. Spinal inhibitory effects of cardiopulmonary afferent inputs in monkeys: neuronal processing in high cervical segments. J. Neurophysiol. 87, 1290–1302 (2002).
Oppenheimer, S. The anatomy and physiology of cortical mechanisms of cardiac control. Stroke 24, I3–I5 (1993).
Blok, B. F. M., Willemsen, A. T. M. & Holstege, G. A PET study on brain control of micturition in humans. Brain 120, 111–121 (1997).
Saper, C. B. Pain as a visceral sensation. Prog. Brain Res. 122, 237–243 (2000).
Macphail, E. M. The Evolution of Consciousness (Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, UK, 1998).
Nimchinsky, E. A. et al. A neuronal morphologic type unique to humans and great apes. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 96, 5268–5273 (1999).
Pagni, C. A. Central Pain: a Neurosurgical Challenge (Ediziona Minerva Medica S. P. A., Turin, 1998).
Churchland, P. S. Self-representation in nervous systems. Science 296, 308–310 (2002).
I thank E. Rolls and L. Watkins for their comments on the manuscript, and many collaborators and friends for constructive discussions. Work in the author's laboratory is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Barrow Neurological Foundation.
Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
sensory systems in vertebrates: general overview
MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences
- AIR HUNGER
Hypercapnia with mechanically restricted ventilation.
Afferent activity relating tissue energy and metabolic needs.
- EXERCISE PRESSOR REFLEX
Increased blood pressure and heart rate caused by activity in small-diameter afferents from muscle.
- FIRST PAIN
Sharp, pricking pain associated with rapidly conducting Aδ-fibres.
- LABELLED LINES
Anatomically and physiologically distinct neurons that are specifically associated with particular sensations.
- NEUROPATHIC PAIN
Intractable pain associated with damage to the peripheral or central nervous system.
- SECOND PAIN
Dull, burning pain associated with slowly conducting C-fibres.
- TRIADIC ARRANGEMENT
Ultrastructural contacts between an afferent terminal, a relay cell dendrite and a GABA-containing presynaptic dendrite that is characteristic of high-fidelity transmission in sensory relay nuclei.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Craig, A. How do you feel? Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body. Nat Rev Neurosci 3, 655–666 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn894
This article is cited by
Cardiogenic control of affective behavioural state
The cellular coding of temperature in the mammalian cortex
PET imaging of kappa opioid receptors and receptor expression quantified in neuron-derived extracellular vesicles in socially housed female and male cynomolgus macaques
Fatigue and Human Performance: An Updated Framework
Sports Medicine (2023)
Pharmacological Blockade of Muscle Afferents and Perception of Effort: A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis
Sports Medicine (2023)