Interoception


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Related to Interoception: exteroception

Interoception

 

the emergence, conduction, and reception by the central nervous system of impulses that appear as a result of the excitation of sensory endings distributed in the internal organs.

Communication of the internal organs, blood and lymph vessels, and skeletal muscles with the central nervous system is accomplished by means of interoception. The basis for the study of interoception was laid by the English physiologist C. Sherrington, who distinguished a special type of interoception—proprioception—and established the role of muscle interoception in motor reactions. The role of muscle interoception had been elucidated still earlier by the Russian physiologist I. M. Sechenov. The significance of interoception of the blood vessels was studied in detail by the German physiologist H. Hering, the Belgian pharmacologists J. and C. Heymans, and the Soviet physiologist V. V. Parin. Interoception of tissues was studied in detail by the Soviet physiologist V. N. Chernigovskii. A special role in the study of interoception belongs to the notion put forward by I. P. Pavlov of the existence, along with analyzers of the external environment, of analyzers of the body’s internal environment. This notion was developed and elaborated by K. M. Bykov (a student of I. P. Pavlov) and his school, who established the possibility of developing special interoceptive conditioned reflexes and demonstrated the influence of interoception on the condition and function of the cerebral cortex. This work gave physiologists and physicians an objective method of investigating the sensitivity of the internal organs. As a result of the study of interoception it has been possible to establish a number of facts that are important to medical theory and practice. A powerful stream of interoceptive impulses is directed into the central nervous system from all the blood vessels, the heart, and the lungs; this is extremely important for the regulation of vascular tonus. Interoception of the digestive tract, which ensures the coordination of function of its various sections, plays an essential role. The correlation of interoception with the stimuli entering the central nervous system from the exteroceptors ensures the integration of body reactions and the adaptation of the body’s internal environment to the influences of the constantly changing external environment.

REFERENCES

Chernigovskii, V. N. Interotseptory. Moscow, 1960.
Chernigovskii, V. N. Neirofiziologicheskii analiz kortiko-vistseral’noi reflektornoi dugi. Leningrad, 1967.
Lebedeva, V. A. Mekhanizmy khemoretseptsii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.
Il’inskii, O. B. Mekhanoretseptory. Leningrad, 1967.

V. N. CHERNIGOVSKII