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Enteroception vs. Interoception — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on August 21, 2023
Enteroception refers to the sensory perception of the gastrointestinal system, while interoception involves the sensory perception of internal bodily states.
Enteroception vs. Interoception — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Enteroception and Interoception


Key Differences

Enteroception is a subtype of interoception, specifically focusing on the sensory perception from the gastrointestinal system. In contrast, interoception encompasses a broader range of internal bodily states, like heartbeat and respiration.
Enteroception lets us perceive sensations such as hunger, fullness, or gastrointestinal discomfort. Interoception, on the other hand, is responsible for feelings such as thirst, temperature, and the sensation of one's heartbeat.
Through enteroception, our brain gets signals from our intestines and stomach, guiding eating behaviors and digestion. Interoception integrates signals from various internal organs, helping maintain body homeostasis.
Both enteroception and interoception are essential to our well-being. While enteroception ensures proper digestion and food intake, interoception ensures our body's internal systems function in harmony.

Comparison Chart


Sensory perception of the gastrointestinal system.
Sensory perception of internal bodily states.

Examples of sensations

Hunger, fullness, gastrointestinal discomfort.
Thirst, temperature, heartbeat.

Relation to Interoception

A subtype of interoception.
The broader category encompassing various internal sensations.

Relevance to disorders

Linked to gastrointestinal disorders.
Linked to conditions like panic attacks or alexithymia.

System involved

Primarily the gastrointestinal system.
Various internal systems including cardiovascular & respiratory.

Compare with Definitions


Enteroception is the sensory perception from the gastrointestinal system.
Through enteroception, individuals can sense when they are full after a meal.


Interoception is the sensory perception of internal bodily states.
Interoception allows us to feel our heart racing when we're nervous.


Enteroception provides feedback about digestive processes.
Enteroception helps alert us when we've eaten something that doesn't agree with our stomach.


Interoception integrates signals from various internal organs.
Thanks to interoception, he felt thirsty after a long run.


Enteroception guides eating behaviors based on internal gut sensations.
Relying on enteroception, she knew she was still hungry despite the large portion she ate.


Interoception helps in maintaining body homeostasis.
By detecting a rise in body temperature through interoception, she knew she had a fever.


(physiology) The reception of sensory stimuli from hollow internal organs.


Interoception encompasses sensations like thirst, heartbeat, and more.
Interoception alerted him to his accelerated breathing after the sprint.


Enteroception is a specific type of interoception related to the gut.
Unlike other forms of interoception, enteroception zeroes in on sensations like hunger and fullness.


Any of the senses that detect conditions within the body.


Enteroception plays a role in the body's digestive responses.
Through enteroception, her body signaled the discomfort of indigestion.


Interoception is contemporarily defined as the sense of the internal state of the body. This can be both conscious and non-conscious.


Sensitivity to stimuli originating inside of the body


Interoception is broader than specific subtypes like enteroception.
While enteroception deals with the gut, interoception covers a wider range of internal sensations.

Common Curiosities

What is enteroception?

Enteroception is the sensory perception arising from the gastrointestinal system, helping us sense feelings like hunger or fullness.

What does interoception encompass?

Interoception refers to the sensory perception of various internal bodily states, including heartbeat, temperature, and thirst, among others.

Is enteroception the same as interoception?

No, enteroception is a specific type of interoception focused on sensations from the gastrointestinal system.

Is enteroception linked to any disorders?

Yes, disorders like irritable bowel syndrome or other gastrointestinal issues might be associated with altered enteroceptive signals.

How does enteroception relate to eating behaviors?

Enteroception provides feedback from the gut, which can guide eating behaviors by signaling hunger, satiety, or gastrointestinal discomfort.

What conditions might affect interoception?

Conditions such as panic attacks, alexithymia, or certain developmental disorders might impact one's interoceptive awareness.

Can one improve their interoceptive awareness?

Yes, practices like mindfulness meditation and body scanning can enhance one's interoceptive awareness.

Why is enteroception important?

Enteroception ensures proper digestion, food intake, and alerts us to issues within the gastrointestinal system.

What's the key difference between enteroception and interoception?

Enteroception specifically relates to the gastrointestinal system's sensory perceptions, while interoception covers a broader range of internal sensations.

How does interoception impact our well-being?

Interoception allows us to be aware of our internal states, playing a vital role in maintaining body homeostasis, emotional regulation, and overall well-being.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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