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Differential modulation of valence and arousal in high-alexithymic and low-alexithymic individuals

  • High-alexithymic individuals are characterized by an impaired ability to identify and communicate emotions whereas low-alexithymic individuals have a wide-ranging ability to deal with emotions. This study examined the hypothesis that valence and arousal modifications of emotional stimuli differentially modulate cortical regions in high-alexithymic and low-alexithymic individuals. To this end, 28 high-alexithymic and 25 low-alexithymic individuals were investigated with event-related fMRI using visual emotional stimuli. We found differential neural activations in the dorsal anterior cingulate, the insula and the amygdala. We suggest that these differences may account for the impaired ability of high-alexithymic individuals to appropriately handle emotional stimuli.

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Author:Alexander Heinzel, Ralf Schäfer, Hans-Wilhelm Müller, Andre Schieffer, Ariane Ingenhag, Georg Northoff, Matthias Franz, Hubertus Hautzel
Parent Title (English):Neuroreport
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2010
Date of the Publication (Server):2013/02/26
First Page:998
Last Page:1002
Institutes:FH Aachen / Fachbereich Medizintechnik und Technomathematik
FH Aachen / IfB - Institut für Bioengineering