Interoception refers to awareness, interpretation, and integration of sensations in the body. While interoceptive accuracy has long been regarded as a core component of emotional experience, less is known about the relationship of interoceptive accuracy and related facets of interoception to emotion regulation deficits. This study explores how interoceptive accuracy and interoceptive sensibility relate to emotion regulation in a non-clinical sample.
Undergraduate participants completed a heartbeat perception task and the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (Noticing and Body Listening sub-scales), and rated their confidence in performance on the heartbeat perception task. Participants also completed self-report measures of emotional awareness and regulation (Profile of Emotional Competence, intrapersonal emotion identification and emotion regulation sub-scales), and rated their use of different coping strategies (Brief COPE).
Noticing predicted emotion identification, emotion regulation, and the use of adaptive but not maladaptive coping strategies. Heartbeat perception accuracy did not significantly contribute to the prediction of any outcome variables.
Future work is needed to extend these findings to clinical populations. The results from this study support the use of interoceptive training interventions to promote emotional wellbeing.