The current chapter will focus on the emotional embodiment and interoceptive abilities in alexithymia, two important topic that are surprisingly under-investigated in alexithymia research. In order to adaptively act in a social environment, individuals must understand the emotions depicted on others faces. Theories of emotional embodiment suggest that, in order to understand other peoples’ feelings, observers re-experience, or simulate, the relevant component (i.e. somatic, motor, visceral) of emotion’s expressed by others in one’s self. In this way, the emotions are “embodied”. Although this phenomenon is now widely studied in normal populations, it is surprisingly still largely under-investigated in sub clinical populations experiencing difficulties in emotional processing, such as alexithymia. A second important topic still under-investigating in alexithymia is the one on interoceptive abilities, defined as the ability to perceive a wide range of physical states including heart rate, respiratory effort, temperature. Interoceptive abilities are considered to be strictly intercorrelated with the emotional experience, which is impoverished in alexithymia. The current chapter will review the existent literature on emotional embodiment and alexithymia and on interoceptive abilities and alexithymia, in order to provide a complete overview of the state of the art that could be used as a starting point for future researches.

Alexithymia, embodiment of emotions and interoceptive abilities

Scarpazza, Cristina
;
di Pellegrino, Giuseppe
2018

Abstract

The current chapter will focus on the emotional embodiment and interoceptive abilities in alexithymia, two important topic that are surprisingly under-investigated in alexithymia research. In order to adaptively act in a social environment, individuals must understand the emotions depicted on others faces. Theories of emotional embodiment suggest that, in order to understand other peoples’ feelings, observers re-experience, or simulate, the relevant component (i.e. somatic, motor, visceral) of emotion’s expressed by others in one’s self. In this way, the emotions are “embodied”. Although this phenomenon is now widely studied in normal populations, it is surprisingly still largely under-investigated in sub clinical populations experiencing difficulties in emotional processing, such as alexithymia. A second important topic still under-investigating in alexithymia is the one on interoceptive abilities, defined as the ability to perceive a wide range of physical states including heart rate, respiratory effort, temperature. Interoceptive abilities are considered to be strictly intercorrelated with the emotional experience, which is impoverished in alexithymia. The current chapter will review the existent literature on emotional embodiment and alexithymia and on interoceptive abilities and alexithymia, in order to provide a complete overview of the state of the art that could be used as a starting point for future researches.
Current Developments in Alexithymia: A Cognitive and Affective Deficit
35
51
Scarpazza, Cristina*; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/640487
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