Dr Aleksandra Herman, Royal Holloway
In the self: Neural correlates of cardiac-focused attention and the role of cardiac-timing in the sense of agency
Interoception is a sense of internal state of the body with insular cortex considered a hub of interoceptive network. Interoceptive signals play important role in emotional processes, embodiment, and self-conscious awareness. Some research suggests that interoceptive cues may also contribute to the sense of control over our actions (sense of agency).
My current research focuses on the neural correlates underlying interoceptive awareness as well as the role of interoceptive cues in guiding our actions and decisions. First, I will show neuroimaging data investigating neural correlates underlying heart-focused attention using a novel heartbeat-detection task. Secondly, I will present data regarding the role of cardiac cycle time effects in agentic control in a decision-making task. Finally, I will show initial findings of a non-invasive insula-stimulation procedure and its impact on inhibitory-control.