Health Psychophysiology: Body Awareness



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

The subject aims to provide the students with recent knowledge on various aspects of body awareness. Body awareness, its relationship to interoception, well-being, and decision making is an intensively investigated topic, however, our current knowledge is far from conclusive. The subject discusses the major points under debate. Most important topics to be discussed are (1) consciousness and its evolutionary roots; (2) body consciousness: definitions, assessment, and related constructs (mindfulness, self-consciousness, body image); (3) neurophysiological background of interoception: from receptors to the cortex; (4) visceroception: development and its effects on mood, emotion, and decision making; (5) assessment of interoceptive awareness with special emphasis on heartbeat detection; (6) proprioception: development, connections to self-esteem and self-schema; (7) body awareness and interoception: are they connected or not?; (8) body awareness and well-being (yoga, Pilates); (9) somatotherapies; (10) negative aspects of body awareness: somatosensory amplification, health anxiety, and somatization; (11) neuropsychological aspects: rubber-hand illusion, body ownership,
phantom limb, etc.; (12) the tingling phenomenon.

  • Ádám, G. (1998). Visceral perception: Understanding Internal Cognition. New York: Plenum Press.
  • Bakal, D. A. (1999). Minding the body: clinical uses of somatic awareness. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Cameron, O. G. (2002). Visceral sensory neuroscience. Interoception. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Damasio, A. (2010). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. New York: Pantheon.
  • Fogel, A. (2009). The psychophysiology of self-awareness. Rediscovering the lost art of body sense. New York and London: W. W. Norton.