Level-2 visuo-spatial perspective-taking and interoception: More evidence for the embodiment of perspective-taking

Thorsten Michael Erle*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Level-2 visuo-spatial perspective-taking is an embodied process during which the perspective-taker mentally simulates a movement of his or her body into the location of the target. Evidence for the embodiment of this process so far exclusively stems from congruency effects in visuo-spatial perspective-taking experiments. Here, additional triangulation for the embodiment of this process is provided from an interindividual differences perspective. In a cross-sectional observational study, participants completed a behavioral level-2 visuo-spatial perspective-taking task and the heartbeat tracking task, which measures interoceptive accuracy and sensibility. Interoceptive accuracy is the objective ability to accurately perceive signals from within the body. In the present study, interoceptive accuracy was quantified by comparing the number of actual heartbeats observed via electrocardiographic recording to subjectively perceived heartbeats during that time. This measure was related to faster perspective-taking and better overall perspective-taking performance. Interoceptive sensibility refers to subjective beliefs about interoceptive abilities. Here, confidence in the estimated number of heartbeats served as a measure if interoceptive sensibility. Finally, the correspondence between interoceptive accuracy and sensibility is referred to as interoceptive awareness. Interoceptive sensibility and awareness were unrelated to perspective-taking. The study is a demonstration of the role interindividual differences in different facets of interoception play for embodied cognition. Implications for future research on links between embodied cognition and interoception are outlined and critically discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0219005
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Interoception
  • Embodied Cognition
  • Grounded cognition
  • Perspective-taking


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