Sensory and cognitive processes connected to emotions are perceived as changes in body conditions and are encoded as affective feelings, also thanks to the contribution of interoception pathways. Interoception refers to the perception of internal body signals and has been previously related to emotion regulation processes and empathic response, even in the clinical neuroscience domain concerning emotional and social disorders. It is worth to note that interoception shares brain circuits, such as the anterior insula and portions of the prefrontal cortex, and physiological correlates involved in the empathic behavior, especially in response to pain perception. Thus, given the highly connoted emotional and sensory characteristics of the pain experience, empathy for pain studies represent an interesting ground for deepening the effects of an intentional interoceptive focus on the brain-and-body physiological response. In this context, a multi-method neuroscientific research protocol was recently developed, and its potential will be here discussed in the light of future application fields.
- BIO-fNIRS-EEG co-registration
- emotion regulation
- empathy for pain