Photo of Sarah Garfinkel

Sarah Garfinkel
Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry (Neuroscience and Imaging)
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T: +44 (0)1273 678584


Research

How can deficits in bodily processing contribute to alternations in emotion processing? Current research by Sarah includes individual differences in interoception, focusing on detection of the heart. She demonstrates that there are dissociable dimensions of interoception, with people’s belief in their ability (interoceptive sensibility) dissociable from their actual ability (interoceptive accuracy) and their metacognitive insight (interoceptive awareness). To further understand links between the body and emotion, she demonstrates deficits in interoceptive accuracy in individuals with Autism, in the context of elevated interoceptive sensibility in this population. Moreover, the discrepancy between these interoceptive dimensions predicts anxiety. This work has implications for bodily awareness training as a therapeutic strategy in people with Autism Spectrum Conditions to potentially aid emotion processing and decrease anxiety. On-going work is also exploring the neural correlations of disrupted interoceptive dimensions in Schizophrenia using fMRI.