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Interhemispheric Transfer Deficit in Alexithymia: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study

Romei, Vincenzo and De Gennaro, Luigi and Fratello, Fabiana and Curcio, Giuseppe and Ferrara, Michele and Pascual-Leone, Alvaro and Bertini, Mario (2008) 'Interhemispheric Transfer Deficit in Alexithymia: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study.' Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 77 (3). pp. 175-181. ISSN 0033-3190

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Abstract

Background: A deficit in interhemispheric transfer was hypothesized in alexithymia more than 30 years ago, following the observation that split-brain patients manifest certain alexithymic characteristics. However, direct evidence of interhemispheric transfer deficit has never been provided. This study investigated the hypothesis of a transcallosal interhemispheric transfer deficit in alexithymia by means of paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. Methods: A random sample of 300 students was screened for alexithymia using the Italian version of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Eight right-handed males and eight females with high alexithymic scores and an age- and gender-matched group with low alexithymic scores were selected. A first (conditioning) magnetic stimulus was delivered to one motor cortex followed by a second (test) stimulus to the opposite hemisphere at different interstimulus intervals for both motor cortices. Motor evoked responses were recorded from the abductor digit minimi muscles. Results: High alexithymic subjects showed reduced transcallosal inhibition as compared to low alexithymic subjects at interstimulus intervals of 10, 12 and 14 ms in the left-to-right and right-to-left interhemispheric transfer directions. Conclusions: Results point to functional differences in transcallosal interactions in high alexithymic as compared to low alexithymic subjects, supporting the hypothesis of an interhemispheric transfer deficit in alexithymia. Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: transcranial magnetic stimulation; paired pulse; transcallosal inhibition; interhemispheric transfer; corpus callosum; alexithymia
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 May 2013 16:26
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:31
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/5738

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