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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 37 (1995) 9

New research

A neuropsychological approach to alexithymia

B. Bermond

The alexithymia concept refers to the incapacity to experience emotional feelings which is assumed to result in psychosomatic complaints. Although often used in the literature the concept of alexithymia is still ill-defined. This has resulted in conflicting reports concerning the relationship between alexithymia and psychosomatic complaints or physiological responses to emotional stimuli. The neuropsychology of the emotional experience offers a resolution for these conflicting results. It has to be concluded that various neural defects can result in alexithymia and that three types of alexithymia have to be distinguished.