Somatosensory amplification refers to the tendency to experience bodily sensation as intense, noxious and disturbing. It includes an individuals disposition to focus on unpleasant sensations and to consider them as pathological rather than normal. Amplification appears to have both trait-like and state-like properties.
A cognitive model of panic is described. Within this model panic attacks are said to result from the catastrophic misinterpretation of certain bodily sensations. The sensations which are mis-interpreted are mainly those involved in normal anxiety responses (e.g. palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness etc.) but also include some other sensations. The catastrophic misinterpretation involves perceiving these sensations as much more dangerous than they really are (e.g. perceiving palpitations as evidence of an impending heart attack)