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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures

Interoception: Beyond the Homunculus....The Real Sixth Sense and Its Primary Function as Sensory Input to the Autonomic Nervous System

by Michelle Emanuel, OTR/L, IBCLC, CST, NBCR
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP
  • Handout: Yes

Interoception is a term used to describe our nervous system's awareness of the sensations from the gastrointestinal and visceral system, as well as the primary sensory part/input to baby's Autonomic Nervous System. ANS function and regulation underlay all automatic processes of the body, from heart beat to breastfeeding and digestion function, as well as maintaining a calm state in order to engage in social interaction or to transition easily in and out of sleep. More simply put, interoception is "feelings from the body". In addition to visceral information, interoceptive pathways carry information related to affective touch, itch, temperature and pain and are delivered to a separate area of the brain, the insular cortex, which also contains a map of the body, similar to the well known homunculus. Interception plays a large role in dynamic equilibrium and autonomic regulation of tissues of the body. Interoceptive information and the processing is the basis of all important activity to optimize energy utilization. This system is often compromised in babies who present with complex oral dysfunction, tethered oral tissues, postural asymmetries, fussiness, gas, reflux or other dysregulation in function. How babies feel is mirrored in how they function, compromised function equals compromised interoceptive processing. This talk covers the basics of this system and practical clinical applications for precrawling babies to optimize neurodevelopment and breastfeeding abilities.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Define Interoception and the location of interoceptive processing;

Objective 2: Describe 2 clinical applications for the precrawling babyas it relates to oral function and breastfeeding;

Objective 3: List 2 functions of the Autonomic Nervous System and impacts on connection, oral function and breastfeeding.

Presentations: 3  |  Hours / CE Credits: 3  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks
Presentations: 1  |  Hours / CE Credits: 1  |  Viewing Time: 2 Weeks