In"tarot"ception – Primer, Learning Module, Philosophical Foundations and Application




Perception operates in general according to two causal processes—bottom-up (sensory driven; progressive), and top-down (anticipatory; inferential; with signal progression issuing from expectations about future states). Both are essential to consciousness. Like colors, there are, in essence, three primary modes of perception. Exteroception, interoception and proprioception. The interoceptive faculty of perception refers to the moment-to-moment awareness of the body's interior dynamics in concert with regulatory homeostatic and allostatic operations that furnish a core feature of subjective experience, social navigation and sense-of-self. This paper provides an overview of interoception accompanied by a visual diagram that serves as a heuristic learning model for conceptually organizing the materials. This follows with a summary of A.N. Whitehead's 'three modes of perception' that clarifies the connections with interoception to such an extent they may be regarded as philosophical foundations. This is followed by the topics of information integration and biological intuition.


Perception; Interoception; Neurovisceral Axis; Predictive Coding; Free-Energy Principle; Bayesian Inference; Somatic Markers; Insula; Integrated Information; Tononi; Friston; Seth; Whitehead; Peirce


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Allman J, Hakeem A and Watson K. Book review: Two phylogenetic specializations in the human brain. The Neuroscientist 2002;8(4):335-346.

Allman J, Watson K, Tetreault N and Hakeem, A. Intuition and autism: a possible role for Von Economo neurons. Trends in cognitive sciences 2005;9(8):367-373.

Allman J, Tetreault N, Hakeem, A, Manaye K, Semendeferi K, Erwin J, Park S, Goubert V and Hof P. The von Economo neurons in the frontoinsular and anterior cingulate cortex. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2011;1225(1):59-71.

Arnhart L. The evolution of Darwinian liberalism. Journal of Bioeconomics 2015;17:3-15.

Ashby W. Principles of the self-organizing dynamic system. The Journal of general psychology 1947;37(2):125-128.

Bechara A, Damasio H and Damasio A. Emotion, decision making and the orbitofrontal cortex. Cerebral cortex 2000;10(3):295-307.

Barlassina L and Newen A. The role of bodily perception in emotion: In defense of an impure somatic theory. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2014;89(3):637-678.

Barrett L and Simmons W. Interoceptive predictions in the brain. Nature reviews neuroscience 2015;16(7):419-429.

Bayes T. LII. An essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances. By the late Rev. Mr. Bayes, FRS communicated by Mr. Price, in a letter to John Canton, AMFR S. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London 1763;(53):370-418.

Bear M, Connors B and Paradiso, M, eds. Neuroscience: exploring the brain, enhanced edition: exploring the brain. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2020.

Bechara A. The role of emotion in decision-making: Evidence from neurological patients with orbitofrontal damage. Brain and cognition 2004;55(1):30-40.

Bernard C. Leçons de physiologie expérimentale appliquée à la médecine: Cours de semestre d'hiver, Bailliere; 1854-1855;1.

Beul S and Hilgetag C. Towards a “canonical” agranular cortical microcircuit. Frontiers in neuroanatomy 2015;8:165.

Billman G. Homeostasis: the underappreciated and far too often ignored central organizing principle of physiology. Frontiers in physiology 2020;(11):200.

Bossaerts P. Risk and risk prediction error signals in anterior insula. Brain Structure and Function 2010; 214:645-653.

Buchman T. The community of the self. Nature 2002;420(6912):246-251.

Buldeo N. Interoception: A measure of embodiment or attention?. International Body Psychotherapy Journal 2015;14(1).

Butti C. and Hof P. The insular cortex: a comparative perspective. Brain Structure and Function 2010;214:477-493.

Cameron O and Minoshima S. Regional brain activation due to pharmacologically induced adrenergic interoceptive stimulation in humans. Psychosomatic medicine 2002;64(6):851-861.

Cannon W. The wisdom of the body.(2nd ed.). Norton & Co; 1939.

Carhart-Harris R and Friston K. The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of Freudian ideas. Brain 2010;133(4):1265-1283.

Cauda F, D'agata F, Sacco K, Duca S, Geminiani G and Vercelli A. Functional connectivity of the insula in the resting brain. Neuroimage 2011;55(1):8-23.

Chanes L and Barrett L. Redefining the role of limbic areas in cortical processing. Trends in cognitive sciences 2016;20(2):96-106.

Chang C, Liu Z, Chen M, Liu X and Duyn J. EEG correlates of time-varying BOLD functional connectivity. Neuroimage 2013;72:227-236.

Chernigovskiy V and Lindsley D. Interoceptors. Trans. American Psychological Association; Ed. G. Onischenko; 1967.

Clark A. Whatever next? Predictive brains, situated agents, and the future of cognitive science. Behavioral and brain sciences 2013;36(3):181-204.

Cobb J and Griffin D. Process theology: An introductory exposition. Westminster. John Knox Press; 1976.

Corbetta M, Patel G and Shulman G. The reorienting system of the human brain: from environment to theory of mind. Neuron 2008;58(3):306-324.

Craig A. How do you feel? Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body. Nature reviews neuroscience 2002;3(8):655-666.

Craig A. Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body. Current opinion in neurobiology 2003;13(4):500-505.

Craig A. Interoception and emotion: a neuroanatomical perspective. Handbook of Emotions 2008;3(602):272-88.

Craig A. How do you feel—now? The anterior insula and human awareness. Nature reviews neuroscience 2009;10(1):59-70.

Critchley H, Mathias C, Josephs O, O’Doherty J, Zanini S, Dewar B, Cipolotti L, Shallice T and Dolan R. Human cingulate cortex and autonomic control: converging neuroimaging and clinical evidence. Brain 2003;126(10):2139-2152.

Critchley H. The human cortex responds to an interoceptive challenge. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2004;101(17):6333-6334.

Damasio A, Tranel D and Damasio H. Somatic markers and the guidance of behavior: Theory and preliminary testing. In H. S. Levin, H. M. Eisenberg, & A. L. Benton (Eds.), Frontal lobe function and dysfunction. Oxford University Press; 1991:217–229.

Damasio A, Anderson S and Tranel D. The frontal lobes. Clinical neuropsychology 1993;3:409-460.

Damasio A. Descartes' error and the future of human life. Scientific American 1994;271(4):144-144.

Damasio A. The somatic marker hypothesis and the possible functions of the prefrontal cortex. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences 1996;351(1346):1413-1420.

Damasio A. Looking for Spinoza: Joy, sorrow, and the feeling brain. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2003.

Damasio A. Neuroscience and the emergence of neuroeconomics. In Neuroeconomics 2009:207-213.

Damasio A. Feeling & knowing: Making minds conscious. Cognitive neuroscience 2021;12(2):65–66.

Damasio A and Damasio H. Homeostatic feelings and the biology of consciousness. Brain 2022;145(7):2231-2235.

Dayan P, Hinton G, Neal R and Zemel R. The helmholtz machine. Neural computation 1995;7(5):889-904.

Dayan P and Yu A. Phasic norepinephrine: a neural interrupt signal for unexpected events. Network: Computation in Neural Systems 2006;17(4):335-350.

Deen B, Pitskel N and Pelphrey K. Three systems of insular functional connectivity identified with cluster analysis. Cerebral cortex 2011; 21(7):1498-1506.

Dehaene S, Changeux J, Naccache L, Sackur J and Sergent C. Conscious, preconscious, and subliminal processing: a testable taxonomy. Trends in cognitive sciences 2006;10(5):204-211.

Dehaene S and Changeux J. Experimental and theoretical approaches to conscious processing. Neuron 2011;70(2):200-227.

Dennett D. "Filling in" versus finding out: A ubiquitous confusion in cognitive science. In H. L. Pick, Jr., P. W. van den Broek, & D. C. Knill (Eds.), Cognition: Conceptual and methodological issues 1992:33–49.

Depraz N and Varela F. At the source of time: Valence and the constitutional dynamics of affect. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2005;2(8-10):61-81.

Dockray G. Luminal sensing in the gut: an overview. J Physiol Pharmacol 2003;54(Supplement-4):9-17.

Dunn B, Galton H, Morgan R, Evans D, Oliver C, Meyer M, Cusack R, Lawrence A and Dalgleish T. Listening to your heart: How interoception shapes emotion experience and intuitive decision making. Psychological science 2010;21(12):1835-1844.

Dunn B, Dalgleish T and Lawrence A. The somatic marker hypothesis: A critical evaluation. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 2006;30(2):239-271.

Edelman G. Wider than the sky: The phenomenal gift of consciousness. Yale University Press; 2004.

Edlund J, Chaumont N, Hintze A, Koch C, Tononi G and Adami C. Integrated information increases with fitness in the evolution of animats. PLoS computational biology 2011;7(10): p.e.1002236.

Emerson R. "The Poet." Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller Selected Works: Essays, Poems, and Dispatches with Introduction; 2000:186-206.

Ernst J, Böker H, Hättenschwiler J, Schüpbach D, Northoff G, Seifritz E and Grimm S. The association of interoceptive awareness and alexithymia with neurotransmitter concentrations in insula and anterior cingulate. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 2014;9(6):857-863.

Evrard H, Forro T and Logothetis N. Von Economo neurons in the anterior insula of the macaque monkey. Neuron 2012;74(3):482-489.

Fan Y, Duncan N, De Greck M and Northoff G. Is there a core neural network in empathy? An fMRI based quantitative meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 2011;35(3):903-911.

Friston K. Beyond phrenology: what can neuroimaging tell us about distributed circuitry?. Annual review of neuroscience 2002;25(1):221-250.

Friston K, Kilner J and Harrison L. A free energy principle for the brain. Journal of physiology-Paris 2006;100(1-3):70-87.

Friston K, Mattout J, Trujillo-Barreto N, Ashburner J and Penny W. Variational free energy and the Laplace approximation. Neuroimage 2007;34(1):220-234.

Friston K and Kiebel S. Predictive coding under the free-energy principle. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological sciences 2009;364(1521):1211-1221.

Friston K. The free-energy principle: a unified brain theory?. Nature reviews neuroscience 2010;11(2):127-138.

Friston K. Prediction, perception and agency. International Journal of Psychophysiology 2012; 83(2):248-252.

Friston K, Schwartenbeck P, FitzGerald T, Moutoussis M, Behrens T and Dolan R. The anatomy of choice: active inference and agency. Frontiers in human neuroscience 2013;7:598.

Friston K, Levin M, Sengupta B and Pezzulo G. Knowing one's place: a free-energy approach to pattern regulation. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 2015;12(105):20141383.

Frost R. The Hartford Courant, Frost, Poet, Is Honored On Birthday: New Englander, 80, Views World as Too Crowded and Hurried; Hartford, Connecticut. March 26 1954; Column 1:14.

Garfinkel S and Critchley H. Interoception, emotion and brain: new insights link internal physiology to social behaviour. Commentary on: “Anterior insular cortex mediates bodily sensibility and social anxiety” by Terasawa et al. 2012. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 2013;8(3):231-234.

Goldstein D and Kopin I. Evolution of concepts of stress. Stress 2007;10(2):109-120.

Gregory R. Perceptions as hypotheses. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences 1980;290(1038):181-197.

Grenham S, Clarke G, Cryan J and Dinan T. Brain–gut–microbe communication in health and disease. Frontiers in physiology 2011;2:94.

Gross J. The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Review of general psychology 1998;2(3):271-299.

Gu X and FitzGerald T. Interoceptive inference: homeostasis and decision-making. Trends Cogn Sci 2014;18(6):269-70.

Gu X, Hof P, Friston K and Fan J. Anterior insular cortex and emotional awareness. Journal of Comparative Neurology 2013;521(15):3371-3388.

Hale M, Shekhar A and Lowry C. Stress-related serotonergic systems: implications for symptomatology of anxiety and affective disorders. Cellular and molecular neurobiology 2012;32:695-708.

Haken H and Haken H. An introduction: nonequilibrium phase transitions and self-organization in physics, chemistry and biology. Synergetics: Introduction and Advanced Topics 2004:1-387.

Harrison N, Gray M, Gianaros P and Critchley H. The embodiment of emotional feelings in the brain. Journal of Neuroscience 2010;30(38):12878-12884.

Helmholtz H. Concerning the perceptions in general, 1867. In: W. Dennis (Ed.), Readings in the history of psychology. Appleton-Century-Crofts; 1948:214–230.

Hohwy J. The predictive mind. OUP Oxford; 2013.

Holzer P. Interoception and gut feelings: Unconscious body signals’ impact on brain function, behavior and belief processes. Processes of believing: The acquisition, maintenance, and change in creditions 2017:435-442.

James W. The principles of psychology, Vol. 1. Henry Holt and Co. New York; 1890.

Jammer M. Einstein and religion: Physics and theology. Princeton University Press; 2000.

Kauffman S. The origins of order: Self-organization and selection in evolution. Oxford University Press, USA; 1993.

Kirk U, Downar J and Montague P. Interoception drives increased rational decision-making in meditators playing the ultimatum game. Frontiers in neuroscience 2011;5:49.

Knill D and Pouget A. The Bayesian brain: the role of uncertainty in neural coding and computation. TRENDS in Neurosciences 2004;27(12):712-719.

Krauss P and Maier A. Will we ever have conscious machines?. Frontiers in computational neuroscience 2020;14:116.

Kuo J and Linehan M. Disentangling emotion processes in borderline personality disorder: physiological and self-reported assessment of biological vulnerability, baseline intensity, and reactivity to emotionally evocative stimuli. Journal of abnormal psychology 2009;118(3):531.

Lange C. Om sindsbevaegelser; et psyko-fysiologisk studie; Lund.; 1885.

Lango J. Whitehead's Ontology. State University of New York Press; 1972.

Lazarus R. Progress on a cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotion. American psychologist 1991;46(8):819.

Lee S. A Copernican approach to brain advancement: The paradigm of allostatic orchestration. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2019;13:129.

Leikind M. Source Book of Medical History. Compiled with Notes by Logan Clendening, Professor of the History of Medicine, University of Kansas. (New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Medical Book Department of Harper and Brothers 1942:xiv;685).

Lutz A and Thompson E. Neurophenomenology: integrating subjective experience and brain dynamics in the neuroscience of consciousness. Journal of consciousness studies, 2003;10(9-10):31-52.

Maclachlan D. Whitehead's Theory of Perception. Process studies 1992;227-230.

Marstaller L. Towards a Whiteheadian neurophenomenology. Concrescence-The Australasian Journal of Process Thought 2009:10.

Mayer E. Gut feelings: the emerging biology of gut–brain communication. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2011;12(8):453-466.

Mesulam M and Mufson E. Insula of the old world monkey. III: Efferent cortical output and comments on function. Journal of Comparative Neurology 1982;212(1):38-52.

Montague P Lohrenz T. To detect and correct: norm violations and their enforcement. Neuron 2007;56(1):14-18.

Mesulam M and Mufson E. Insula of the old world monkey. Architectonics in the insulo‐orbito‐temporal component of the paralimbic brain. Journal of Comparative Neurology 1982;212(1):1-22.

Nicolis G and Prigogine I. Self-organization in Nonequilibrium Systems. From Dissipative Structures to Order through Fluctuations 1977:91.

Ohira H. Interoception and decision-making. Nihon Shinkei Seishin Yakurigaku Zasshi= Japanese Journal of Psychopharmacology 2015;35(1):11-18.

Oizumi M, Albantakis L and Tononi G. From the phenomenology to the mechanisms of consciousness: integrated information theory 3.0. PLoS computational biology 2014;10(5):p.e1003588.

Ondobaka S, Kilner J and Friston K. The role of interoceptive inference in theory of mind. Brain and cognition 2017;112:64-68.

Parvizi J and Damasio A. Consciousness and the brainstem. Cognition 2001;79(1-2):135-160.

Peirce C. Five Hundred and Eighty-First Meeting. Monthly Meeting; On the Natural Classification of Arguments. In Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1867; (7):261-287.

Picard F and Friston K. Predictions, perception, and a sense of self. Neurology 2014;83(12):1112-1118.

Popper K. Science as falsification. Conjectures and refutations 1963:33-39.

Preuschoff K, Quartz S and Bossaerts P. Human insula activation reflects risk prediction errors as well as risk. Journal of Neuroscience 2008;28(11):2745-2752.

Prinz J. Gut reactions: A perceptual theory of emotion. Oxford University Press; 2004.

Rhee S, Pothoulakis C and Mayer E. Principles and clinical implications of the brain–gut–enteric microbiota axis. Nature reviews Gastroenterology & hepatology 2009;6(5):306-314.

Rilling J, King-Casas B and Sanfey A. The neurobiology of social decision-making. Current opinion in neurobiology 2008;18(2):159-165.

Roitblat H. Representations and processes in working memory. In: Animal Cognition; Psychology Press; 2013:189-206.

Rosas F, Mediano P, Biehl M, Chandaria S and Polani D. September. Causal blankets: Theory and algorithmic framework. In International workshop on active inference; Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2020:187-198).

Saper C. The central autonomic nervous system: conscious visceral perception and autonomic pattern generation. Annual review of neuroscience 2002;25(1):433-469.

Schachter S and Singer J. Cognitive, social, and physiological determinants of emotional state. Psychological review 1962;69(5):379.

Seth A. Interoceptive inference, emotion, and the embodied self. Trends in cognitive sciences, 2013;17(11):565-573.

Seth A. The cybernetic Bayesian brain: from interoceptive inference to sensorimotor contingencies. In Open MIND (eds Windt JM, Metzinger T); Frankfurt, Germany: MIND Group; 2015:9–24.

Sherrington C. The Integrative Action of the Nervous System, by Sir Charles Sherrington... With a New Foreword by the Author and a Bibliography of His Writings. The University Press; 1948.

Solms M. The hidden spring: A journey to the source of consciousness. Profile Books; United Kingdom; 2021.

Stavros B. Empedocles and Neurosciences. Encephalos 2014;51:66-78.

Sterling P and Eyer J. Allostasis: A new paradigm to explain arousal pathology. In S. Fisher & J. Reason (Eds.), Handbook of life stress, cognition and health; John Wiley & Sons; 1988;629–649.

Sterzer P and Kleinschmidt A. Anterior insula activations in perceptual paradigms: often observed but barely understood. Brain Structure and Function 2010;214(5-6):611-622.

Tajadura-Jiménez A and Tsakiris M. Balancing the “inner” and the “outer” self: Interoceptive sensitivity modulates self–other boundaries. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 2014;143(2):736.

Tsakiris M, Jiménez A and Costantini M. Just a heartbeat away from one's body: interoceptive sensitivity predicts malleability of body-representations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 2011;278(1717):2470-2476.

Tononi G and Koch C. The neural correlates of consciousness: an update. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2008;1124(1):239-261.

Tononi G. What is the Essence of Consciousness? [Video]. Closer to Truth. YouTube. March 30, 2021. Accessed 15 May 2023.

Touroutoglou A, Hollenbeck M, Dickerson B and Barrett L. Dissociable large-scale networks anchored in the right anterior insula subserve affective experience and attention. Neuroimage, 2012;60(4):1947-1958.

Turrigiano G. Homeostatic plasticity in neuronal networks: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Trends in neurosciences 1999;22(5):221-227.

Vaitl D. Interoception. Biological psychology 1996;42(1-2):1-27.

Van Den Heuvel M and Sporns O. Rich-club organization of the human connectome. Journal of Neuroscience 2011;31(44):15775-15786.

Verdejo-Garcia A, Clark L and Dunn B. The role of interoception in addiction: a critical review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 2012;36(8):1857-1869.

Watson K, Jones T and Allman J. Dendritic architecture of the von Economo neurons. Neuroscience 2006;141(3):1107-1112.

Watson K, Matthews B and Allman J. Brain activation during sight gags and language-dependent humor. Cerebral cortex 2007;17(2):314-324.

Weber M and Weekes A. eds. Process approaches to consciousness in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind. State University of New York Press, Albany; 2009.

Whitehead A. Symbolism, its meaning and effect. Macmillan, United Kingdom; 1927.

Whitehead A. Process and reality: An essay in cosmology. Cambridge University Press; 1929.

Wiese W. Perceptual presence in the Kuhnian-Popperian Bayesian brain. In: Open MIND (eds Windt JM, Metzinger T). Frankfurt am Main: MIND Group; 2014.




How to Cite

Bettinger, J. (2023). In"tarot"ception – Primer, Learning Module, Philosophical Foundations and Application. Journal of NeuroPhilosophy, 2(2).