Alexithymia, Interhemispheric Transfer, and Right Hemispheric Specialization: A Critical ReviewTabibnia G. · Zaidel E.
Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Calif., USA
Do you have an account?
- Rent for 48h to view
- Buy Cloud Access for unlimited viewing via different devices
- Synchronizing in the ReadCube Cloud
- Printing and saving restrictions apply
Rental: USD 8.50
Cloud: USD 20.00
Background: One neural model of alexithymia relates the condition to poor interhemispheric transfer, while another model associates it with a disturbance in right hemisphere activity. Methods: The available empirical evidence directly relating alexithymia to a deficit in interhemispheric transfer and/or in right hemisphere activity is critically reviewed. Results: The interhemispheric transfer studies have related alexithymia to a deficit in transfer, but the nature and directionality of the transfer deficit have yet to be determined. Many of the hemispheric specialization studies do not relate alexithymia to a right hemisphere dysfunction. Shortcomings of these studies are reviewed. Conclusions: The hypothesis that alexithymia is related to a deficit in the right-to-left transfer of emotional information and to a right hemisphere impairment in emotion processing remains to be tested directly and definitively. Suggestions for future research are made.
© 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel
- Sifneos PE: The prevalence of ‘alexithymic’ characteristics in psychosomatic patients. Psychother Psychosom 1973;22:255–262.
Nemiah JC, Sifneos PE: Affect and fantasy in patients with psychosomatic disorders; in Hill OW (ed): Modern Trends in Psychosomatic Medicine. London, Butterworths, 1970, vol 2, pp 26–34.
Taylor GJ, Bagby RM, Parker JDA: Disorders of Affect Regulation: Alexithymia in Medical and Psychiatric Illness. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Miller L: Is Alexithymia a disconnection syndrome? A neuropsychological perspective. Int J Psychiatry Med 1986–87;16:199–209.
- Buchanan DC, Waterhouse GJ, West SC Jr: A proposed neurophysiological basis of alexithymia. Psychother Psychosom 1980;34:248–255.
- Shipko S: Further reflections on Psychosomatic theory: Alexithymia and Interhemispheric specialization. Psychother Psychosom 1982;37:83–86.
- Hellige JB: Hemispheric asymmetry. Annu Rev Psychol 1990;41:55–80.
- Borod JC, Cicero BA, Obler LK, Welkowitz J, Erhan HM, Santschi C, Grunwald IS, Agosti RM, Whalen JR: Right hemisphere emotional perception: Evidence across multiple channels. Neuropsychology 1998;12:446–458.
- Davidson RJ: Cerebral asymmetry and emotion: A review. Cogn Emotion 1993;7:115–138.
- Haviland MG, Reise SP: A California Q-set alexithymia prototype and its relationship to ego-control and ego-resiliency. J Psychosom Res 1996;41:597–608.
- Henry JP: Psychological and physiological responses to stress: The right hemisphere and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis: An inquiry into problems of human bonding. Integr Physiol Behav Sci 1993;28:369–387.
- Schore AN: The effect of early relational trauma on right brain development, affect regulation, and infant mental health. Infant Ment Health J 2001;22:201–269.
- House JS, Landis KR, Umberson D: Social relationships and health. Science. 1988;241:540–545.
- Lane RD, Ahern GL, Schwartz GE, Kaszniak AW: Is alexithymia the emotional equivalent of blindsight? Biol Psychiatry 1997;42:834–844.
Zaidel E: Disconnection syndrome as a model for laterality effects in the normal brain; in Hellige J (ed): Cerebral Hemisphere Asymmetry: Method, Theory and Application. New York, Praeger, 1983, pp 95–151.
Zaidel E: Callosal dynamics and right hemisphere language; in Lepore F, Ptito M, Jasper HH (eds): Two Hemispheres – One Brain: Functions of the corpus callosum. New York, Praeger, 1986, pp 435–459.
Zaidel E, Clarke J, Suyenobu B: Hemispheric independence: A paradigm case for cognitive neuroscience; in Scheibel AB, Wechsler AF (eds): Neurobiology of Higher Cognitive Function. New York, Guilford Press, 1990, pp 297–355.
Zaidel E: Interhemispheric transfer in the split brain: Long-term status following complete cerebral commissurotomy; in Davidson RJ, Hugdahl K (eds): Brain Asymmetry. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 1995, pp 491–532.
- Iacoboni M, Zaidel E: Hemispheric independence in word recognition: Evidence from unilateral and bilateral presentations. Brain Lang 1996;53:121–140.
- Hoppe KD, Bogen JE: Alexithymia in twelve commissurotomized patients. Psychother Psychosom 1977;28:148–155.
Habib M, Daquin G, Pelletier J, Montreuil M, Robichon F: Alexithymia as a consequence of impaired callosal function: Evidence from multiple sclerosis patients and normal individuals; in Zaidel E, Iacoboni M (eds): The Parallel Brain: The Cognitive Neuroscience of the corpus callosum. Cambridge, MIT Press, 2003, pp 415–422.
Zaidel E, Iacoboni M, Laack KA, Crawford BT, Rayman J: Implicit interhemispheric lexicality priming in lateralized lexical decision. Brain Lang 1998;65:102–105.
- TenHouten WD, Hoppe KD, Bogen JE, Walter DO: Alexithymia and the split brain. 1. Lexical-level content analysis. Psychother Psychosom 1985;43:202–208.
- TenHouten WD, Hoppe KD, Bogen JE, Walter DO: Alexithymia and the split brain. 2. Sentential-level content analysis. Psychother Psychosom 1985;44:1–5.
- TenHouten WD, Hoppe KD, Bogen JE, Walter DO: Alexithymia and the split brain. 3. Global-level content analysis of fantasy and symbolization. Psychother Psychosom 1985;44:89–94.
- TenHouten WD, Hoppe KD, Bogen JE, Walter DO: Alexithymia and the split brain. 5. EEG alpha-band interhemispheric coherence analysis. Psychother Psychosom 1987;47:1–10.
- TenHouten WD, Hoppe KD, Bogen JE, Walter DO: Alexithymia and the split brain. 6. Electroencephalographic correlates of alexithymia. Psychiatr Clin North Am 1988;11:317–329.
- Taylor GJ, Bagby RM: Measurement of alexithymia: Recommendations for clinical practice and future research. Psychiatr Clin North Am 1988;11:351–366.
- Ernst H, Key JD, Koval MS: Alexithymia in an adolescent with agenesis of the corpus callosum and chronic pain. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999;38:1212–1213.
- Bagby RM, Parker JDA, Taylor GJ: The twenty-item Toronto Alexithymica Scale. 1. Item selection and cross-validation of the factor structure. J Psychosom Res 1994;38:23–32.
Zaidel E, Iacoboni M, Zaidel DW, Bogen J: The callosal syndromes; in Heilman KM, Valenstein E (eds): Clinical Neuropsychology, ed 4. New York, Oxford University Press, 2003, pp 347–403.
- Clarke JM, Zaidel E: Anatomical-behavioral relationships: Corpus callosum morphometry and hemispheric specialization. Behav Brain Res 1994;64:185–202.
- Zeitlin SB, Lane RD, O’Leary DS, Schrift MJ: Interhemispheric transfer deficit and alexithymia. Am J Psychiatry 1989;146:1434–1439.
- Parker JDA, Keightley ML, Smith CT, Taylor GJ: Interhemispheric transfer deficit in alexithymia: An experimental study. Psychosom Med 1999;61:464–468.
- Lumley MA, Sielky K: Alexithymia, gender, and hemispheric functioning. Compr Psychiatry 2000;41:352–359.
- Dewaraja R, Sasaki Y: A left to right hemisphere callosal transfer deficit of nonlinguistic information in alexithymia. Psychother Psychosom 1990;54:201–207.
- Merriam AE, Wyszynski B: Interhemispheric transfer deficit in alexithymia. Am J Psychiatry 1990;147:955–956.
Zaidel E, Iacoboni M: Does the CUD in SRT measure IHTT? Or: Is the crossed-uncrossed difference in the simple reaction time task a pure measure of interhemispheric transfer time?; in Zaidel E, Iacoboni M (eds): The Parallel Brain: The Cognitive Neuroscience of the corpus callosum. Cambridge, MIT Press, 2003, pp 259–266.
Zaidel E, Iacoboni M: Current directions in clinical studies of callosal functions; in Zaidel E, Iacoboni M (eds): The Parallel Brain: The Cognitive Neuroscience of the corpus callosum. Cambridge, MIT Press, 2003, pp 453–457.
- Grimshaw GM, Kwasny KM, Covell E, Johnson RA: The dynamic nature of language lateralization: Effects of lexical and prosodic factors. Neuropsychologia 2003;41:1008–1019.
- Jessimer M, Markham R: Alexithymia: A right hemisphere dysfunction specific to recognition of certain facial expressions? Brain Cogn 1997;34:246–258.
- Mann LE, Wise TN, Trinidad A, Kohanski R: Alexithymia, affect recognition, and the five-factor model of personality in normal subjects. Psychol Rep 1994;74:563–567.
- Blonder lX, Bowers D, Heilman KM: The role of the right hemisphere in emotional communication. Brain 1991;114:1115–1127.
- Ley RG, Bryden MP: Hemispheric differences in processing emotions and faces. Brain Lang 1979;7:127–138.
Sifneos PE: Alexithymia and its relationship to hemispheric specialization, affect, and creativity. Psychiatr Clin North Am 1988;3:287–292.
- Fricchione G, Howanitz E: Aprosodia and alexithymia – A case report. Psychother Psychosom 1985;43:156–160.
- Spalletta G, Pasini A, Costa A, De Angelis D, Ramundo N, Paolucci S, Caltagirone C: Alexithymic features in stroke: Effects of laterality and gender. Psychosom Med 2001;63:944–950.
- Berenbaum H, Prince JD: Alexithymia and the interpretation of emotion-relevant information. Cogn Emotion 1994;8:231–244.
- Levy J, Heller W, Banich MT, Burton LA: Asymmetry of perception in free viewing of chimeric faces. Brain Cogn 1983;4:404–419.
- Eviatar Z, Hellige JB, Zaidel E: Individual differences in lateralization: Effects of gender and handedness. Neuropsychology 1997;11:562–576.
- Cole G, Bakan P: Alexithymia, hemisphericity, and conjugate lateral eye movements. Psychother Psychosom 1985;44:139–143.
- Parker JD, Taylor GJ, Bagby RM: Relationship between conjugate lateral eye movements and alexithymia. Psychother Psychosom 1992;57:94–101.
- Bakan P: Hypnotizability, laterality of eye-movements and functional brain asymmetry. Percept Mot Skills 1969;28:927–932.
Hiscock M: Lateral eye movements and dual-task performance; in Hannay HJ (ed): Experimental Techniques in Human Neuropsychology. New York, Oxford University Press, 1986, pp 264–308.
- Davidson RJ, Irwin W: The functional neuroanatomy of emotion and affective style. Trends Cogn Sci 1999;3:11–21.
- Taylor GJ, Bagby RM: New trends in alexithymia research. Psychother Psychosom 2004;73:68–77.
- Haviland MG, Warren WL, Riggs ML, Nitch SR: Concurrent validity of two observer-rated alexithymia measures. Psychosomatics 2002;43:472–477.
Lang PJ, Bradley MM, Cuthbert BN: The International Affective Picture System (IAPS): Photographic Slides. Gainesville, The Center for Research in Psychophysiology, University of Florida, 1995.
- Kojima M, Senda Y, Nagaya T, Tokudome S, Furukawa TA: Alexithymia, depression and social support among Japanese workers. Psychother Psychosom 2003;72:307–314.
- Picardi A, Pasquini P, Cattaruzza MS, Gaetano P, Melchi CF, Baliva G, Camaioni D, Tiago A, Abeni D, Biondi M: Stressful life events, social support, attachment security and alexithymia in vitiligo: A case-control study. Psychother Psychosom 2003;72:150–158.
- Elzinga BM, Bermond B, van Dyck R: The relationship between dissociative proneness and alexithymia. Psychother Psychosom 2002;71:104–111.
Article / Publication Details
Copyright / Drug Dosage / DisclaimerCopyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.