Gastrointestinal Interoception in Eating Disorders: Charting a New Path

Sahib S. Khalsa, Laura A. Berner, Lisa M. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Abnormal interoception has been consistently observed across eating disorders despite limited inclusion in diagnostic conceptualization. Using the alimentary tract as well as recent developments in interoceptive neuroscience and predictive processing as a guide, the current review summarizes evidence of gastrointestinal interoceptive dysfunction in eating disorders.

RECENT FINDINGS: Eating is a complex process that begins well before and ends well after food consumption. Abnormal prediction and prediction-error signals may occur at any stage, resulting in aberrant gastrointestinal interoception and dysregulated gut sensations in eating disorders. Several interoceptive technologies have recently become available that can be paired with computational modeling and clinical interventions to yield new insights into eating disorder pathophysiology. Illuminating the neurobiology of gastrointestinal interoception in eating disorders requires a new generation of studies combining experimental probes of gut physiology with computational modeling. The application of such techniques within clinical trials frameworks may yield new tools and treatments with transdiagnostic relevance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent psychiatry reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Preparation of this work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health [R01MH127225 (S. S. K.), K23MH112949 (S. S. K.), K23MH118418 (L. A. B.), K23MH123910 (L. M. A.)], the William K. Warren Foundation (S. S. K.), and by a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (L. A. B.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • Binge-eating disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Digestion
  • Interoceptive awareness

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review


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