Early experiences related to the body and illness influence how we cope with symptoms throughout our lives. Recent insights suggest that early experiences might also directly influence what we do and do not feel. This is due to predictive processing, a strategy in which the brain uses previous experiences to process new sensory input.
We recently published how predictive processing can explain medically unexplained symptoms (MUS): somatic symptoms that cannot be attributed to a clear organic cause. MUS arise if previous experiences with symptoms have caused strong symptom expectations. Knowledge about how such expectations develop in the life course is highly needed.
Read more about: To feel or not to feel: How social interactions shape symptom proneness