Psychology, Department of


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ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2014, 5, 624−631


Copyright 2014 American Chemical Society


Chemotherapeutic agents nauseate cancer patients. Some individuals with schizophrenia hear voices. Chronic pain can be reduced by analgesics. Nausea, voices, and pain are examples of internal (interoceptive) stimuli closely linked with a disease and/or its treatment. There is evidence that the perception and, hence, role of these internal stimuli can be modified by one’s learning history. There is also increased awareness by researchers and practitioners of the potential import of learning involving internal states to some diseases and psychopathologies. Unfortunately, the science, theory, and practice appear to be trailing behind awareness. In this mini-review, we describe two examples: smoking and panic disorder. While doing so, we discuss the need to develop translationally relevant animal models that will allow investigators to better understand the behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying interoception and learning.

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