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Marshall, Amanda C.; Gentsch, Antje; Jelinčić, Valentina; Schütz-Bosbach, Simone (28. November 2017): Exteroceptive expectations modulate interoceptive processing: repetition-suppression effects for visual and heartbeat evoked potentials. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, No. 16525
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Interoception refers to the signaling of internal bodily commands. Here, we explore repetition suppression of intero- and exteroceptive neural markers to test whether the perception and predictability of exteroceptive stimulus material affects their expression. Participants completed a repetition suppression paradigm in which angry or neutral facial expressions repeated or alternated. Participants received either an implicit (experiment 1) or explicit (experiment 2) cue enabling the formation of expectations regarding the upcoming facial expression. We measured the heartbeat-evoked potential (HEP) indexing cardiac processing and visual evoked potentials (VEP) in response to viewing the second (repeated or alternated) face. Repeating angry facial expressions produced repetition suppression of both HEP and VEP amplitude while repeating neutral expressions led to repetition enhancement of HEP amplitude. This effect was magnified when participants were explicitly aware of predictive cues. Furthermore, repetition suppression of HEP amplitude correlated with neural attenuation of VEP activity. Results highlight repetition effects for interoceptive as well as exteroceptive neural markers and support top-down, expectation-based accounts of the phenomenon. Furthermore, results demonstrate that the perception of exteroceptive stimulus information has an effect on the processing of interoceptive signals and suggest a direct neural connection between the processing of external and internal sensory information.