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Marshall, Amanda C.; Gentsch, Antje; Blum, Anna-Lucia; Broering, Christina and Schütz-Bosbach, Simone ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0937-9454 (1. May 2019): I feel what I do. Relating interoceptive processes and reward-related behavior. In: NeuroImage, Vol. 191: pp. 315-324

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Interoceptive signalling has been shown to contribute to action regulation and action experience. Here, we assess whether motor behaviour can be influenced by anticipated homeostatic feeling states induced through different predictable contexts. Participants performed a reward incentive paradigm in which accurate responses increased (gain) or avoided the depletion (averted loss) of a credit score. Across two types of blocks, we varied the predictability of the outcome state. In predictable blocks, a cue signaled a gain, loss or control trial (motor response did not affect the credit score). This allowed participants to anticipate the interoceptive feeling state associated with the outcome. In unpredictable blocks, the cue had no relation to the type of outcome. Thus, participants were unable to anticipate the feeling state it produced. Via EEG, we measured the Heartbeat Evoked Potential (HEP) and the Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) as indices of interoceptive and motor processing respectively. In addition, we measured feedback P3 amplitude following outcome presentation and accuracy and reaction times of the required motor response. We observed higher HEP and CNV amplitudes as well as faster and more accurate motor responses in predictable compared to unpredictable outcome blocks. Similarly, feedback-related P3 amplitudes were significantly lower for predictable relative to unpredictable outcomes. Crucially, HEP amplitudes measured prior to feedback predicted feedback-related P3 amplitudes for anticipated outcome events. Results suggest that accurate anticipation of homeostatic feeling states associated with gain, loss or control outcomes facilitates motor execution and outcome evaluation. Findings are hereby the first to empirically assess the link between interoceptive and motor domains and provide primary evidence for a joint processing structure.

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