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Vol. 70, No. 2, 2001
Issue release date: March–April 2001
Section title: Regular Article
Psychother Psychosom 2001;70:92–102
(DOI:10.1159/000056232)

Intact Physiological Response to Arousal with Impaired Emotional Recognition in Alexithymia

Stone L.A.a · Nielson K.A.a,b
aDepartment of Psychology, Marquette University, bFoley Center for Aging and Development, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisc., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regular Article

Published online: 3/1/2001
Issue release date: March–April 2001

Number of Print Pages: 11
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS

Abstract

Background: The purpose of the present study was to clarify the relationship between the recognition of emotion and physiological response to emotion (i.e. arousal) in alexithymia. Methods: This study investigated differences in physiological arousal state, as measured by continuous heart rate, electrodermal activity (EDA) and self-reported emotional intensity before and after exposure to an emotionally arousing or neutral videotape among 41 high- or low-alexithymic young adult participants. Results: Across subjects, emotionally negative stimuli produced increased physiological arousal. However, high-alexithymic participants exposed to the arousing videotape did not report increased subjective emotional intensity, as did low-alexithymic participants. In addition, the baseline EDA of high-alexithymic participants was significantly higher than that of the low-alexithymic participants. Conclusions: Results support the prediction that alexithymia leads to a decoupling between subjective and physiological arousal when exposed to emotionally negative stimuli. This decoupling may increase alexithymic individuals’ risks for stress-related illness.

© 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Author Contacts

Kristy A. Nielson, PhD
Department of Psychology, Marquette University, PO Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881 (USA)
Tel. +1 414 288 1796, Fax +1 414 288 5333
E-Mail kristy.nielson@marquette.edu

  

Article Information

Number of Print Pages : 11
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 2, Number of References : 55

  

Publication Details

Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Founded 1953 as ‘Acta Psychotherapeutica et Psychosomatica’ by E.A.D.E. Carp and B. Stokvis, continued by Th. Spoerri (1964–1974) and P.E. Sifneos (1974–1991)

Vol. 70, No. 2, Year 2001 (Cover Date: March-April 2001)

Journal Editor: G.A. Fava, Bologna
ISSN: 0033–3190 (print), 1423–0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/pps


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regular Article

Published online: 3/1/2001
Issue release date: March–April 2001

Number of Print Pages: 11
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS


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