Lecture by Salvatore Maria Aglioti, 2019-2020 resident of the Paris IAS, professor of neurosciences, University La Sapienza of Rome, as part of the "Sciences in Context" cycle organized by the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire and the Paris IAS.
Sciences in Context is a series of public lectures, organized by Muriel Mambrini and Pascal Kolbe, in collaboration with the Institut d'études avancées de Paris, aimed at bringing SHS concepts and perspectives to the CRI community. The topics of the conference will be discussed at a public session of the Practical Philosophy Club on the Friday before each conference, in order to encourage discussion with the guest speaker.
Embodied cognition theories postulate that even higher order mental functions are influenced by bodily signals. However, the majority of existing studies focused on how exteroceptive (e.g. visual, auditory) body-related signals influenced cognition and emotion. Much less is known about interoception, i.e. the ability to acquire information about the physiological condition of the body.
Only recently has research started to explore the link between signals originating from inside the body (e.g. from heart, lung, stomach and gut) in modulating higher order processes. I will present studies showing that although awareness of stimuli coming from the deep body is limited, interoceptive inputs influence profoundly several complex processes ranging from corporeal bodily awareness to aesthetic appreciation and social interactions.