SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT Interoceptive awareness (IA) is associated with emotional experience, the processing of emotional stimuli, and activation of brain structures that monitor the internal visceral and emotional state of the organism. Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties in identifying and describing one's emotions and externally oriented thinking (EOT) and reflects impairments in emotional awareness and the regulation of emotions. This study examined the relationship between alexithymia and IA in a healthy population of N=155 persons. A well-validated heartbeat perception task to measure interoceptive awareness, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and a depression questionnaire (BDI-2) were administered to 88 women and 67 men. IA was inversely associated with all features of alexithymia in the whole sample. When considering sex differences, IA turned out to be a relevant negative predictor for the EOT subscale only in men. This large sample investigation in a nonclinical population indicates that IA represents a relevant negative predictor for alexithymia.