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Alexithymia decreases altruism in real social decisions

FeldmanHall, Oriel and Dalgleish, Tim and Mobbs, Dean (2013) Alexithymia decreases altruism in real social decisions. Cortex, 49 (3). pp. 899-904. ISSN 0010-9452. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.10.015.

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Alexithymia, a sub-clinical personality construct associated with disturbances in affect regulation and social functioning, is known to be comorbid with a number of psychiatric conditions. We combined a distressing real-time altruism task with functional magnetic resonance imagining to explore the brain behaviour relationship between alexithymia and prosocial action. Here we show that individuals high on the alexithymia spectrum report less distress at seeing others in pain and behave less altruistically. This behavioural result is mirrored in the brain, where individuals who have difficulty recognizing and experiencing others' emotional distress have reduced neural activation within the anterior insula and temporoparietal junction, key regions in the experience of distress and perspective-taking.

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Mobbs, Dean0000-0003-1175-3772
Additional Information:© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Received 22 May 2012. Reviewed 10 July 2012. Revised 20 September 2012. Accepted 19 October 2012. Published online 6 November 2012. Action editor Dan Tranel The authors have declared that there are no competing interests.
Subject Keywords:Alexithymia; Altruism Moral TPJ Insula
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180305-093011513
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Official Citation:Oriel FeldmanHall, Tim Dalgleish, Dean Mobbs, Alexithymia decreases altruism in real social decisions, Cortex, Volume 49, Issue 3, 2013, Pages 899-904, ISSN 0010-9452, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85091
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:05 Mar 2018 22:37
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:25

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