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Alexithymia and somatization in agenesis of the corpus callosum

Paul, Lynn K. and Pazienza, Shawneen R. and Brown, Warren S. (2021) Alexithymia and somatization in agenesis of the corpus callosum. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 16 (10). pp. 1071-1078. ISSN 1749-5016. PMCID PMC8483281. doi:10.1093/scan/nsab056.

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Deficient communication between the cerebral hemispheres is one of several prevailing neurobiological explanations for alexithymia and has been strongly supported by research on patients with commissurotomy. We examined self-reported symptoms of alexithymia in adults with agenesis of the corpus callosum (AgCC), a condition characterized by more subtle reductions in interhemispheric transfer than in commissurotomy. Sixteen adults with AgCC and full-scale intelligence quotient >80 were compared with 15 neurotypical controls group-matched for age and intelligence score. The AgCC group endorsed greater difficulty identifying and describing feelings and more vague physical symptoms than controls but similar levels of emotional experience and emotional coping. This finding of impaired emotional interpretation with intact emotional experience is consistent with findings in callosotomy patients, implicating the critical role of the corpus callosum in cognitive dimensions of emotion processing. Further study of alexithymia in AgCC using task-based measures may help clarify the nature of this relationship.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Paul, Lynn K.0000-0002-3128-8313
Brown, Warren S.0000-0001-6142-5588
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Received: 12 August 2020; Revision received: 02 March 2021; Editorial decision: 30 April 2021; Accepted: 11 May 2021; Published: 11 May 2021; Corrected and typeset: 28 September 2021. The authors would like to thank Richard D. Lane for consulting during early phases of this study. Portions of this paper served as the doctoral dissertation of SP, at the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. LP is supported in part by grant no. 1 R15 HD33118-01A1 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Open practices statement: The data and materials for all experiments will be available at the International Research Consortium for the Corpus Callosum and Cerebral Connectivity (IRC5) and are currently available by contacting the corresponding author. None of the experiments was preregistered. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIH1 R15 HD33118-01A1
Subject Keywords:emotion, alexithymia, somatic complaints, corpus callosum, connectivity
Issue or Number:10
PubMed Central ID:PMC8483281
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210823-195450147
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Official Citation:Lynn K Paul, Shawneen R Pazienza, Warren S Brown, Alexithymia and somatization in agenesis of the corpus callosum, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 16, Issue 10, October 2021, Pages 1071–1078,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110388
Deposited By: Lynn Paul
Deposited On:24 Aug 2021 19:42
Last Modified:05 Oct 2021 18:23

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