Alexithymie und automatische aktivierung emotional-evaluativer informationen

Translated title of the contribution: Alexithymia and automatic activation of evaluative informations

Thomas Suslow*, Volker Arolt, Klaus Junghanns

*Corresponding author for this work
11 Citations (Scopus)


The emotional valence of stimuli seems to be stored in the associative network and is automatically activated on the mere observation of a stimulus. A principal characteristic of alexithymia represents the difficulty to symbolize emotions verbally. The present study examines the relationship between the dimensions of the alexithymia construct and emotional priming effects in a word-word paradigma. The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale was administered to 32 subjects along with two word reading tasks as measures of emotional and semantic priming effects. The subscale 'difficulty describing feelings' correlated as expected negatively with the negative inhibition effect. The subscale 'externally oriented thinking' tended to correlate negatively with the negative facilitation effect. Thus, these dimensions of alexithymia are inversely related to the degree of automatic emotional priming. In summary, there is evidence for an impaired structural integration of emotion and language in persons with difficulties in describing feelings. Poor 'symbolization' of emotions in alexithymia is discussed from a cognitive perspective.

Translated title of the contributionAlexithymia and automatic activation of evaluative informations
Original languageGerman
JournalPPmP Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)168-175
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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