In a nutshell:
• Neuroception describes how neural circuits distinguish whether situations or people are safe, dangerous, or life threatening.
• Neuroception explains why a baby coos at a caregiver but cries at a stranger, or why a toddler enjoys a parent’s embrace but views a hug from a stranger as an assault.
• The Polyvagal Theory describes three developmental stages of a mammal’s autonomic nervous system:
Immobilization, mobilization, and social communication or social engagement.
• Faulty neuroception might lie at the root of several psychiatric disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, depression, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.