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Sympathetic reactivity to experimentally induced stress in alexithymia

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Alexithymia refers to a specific disturbance in emotional proc-essing that is manifested through difficulties in identifying and verbalizing feelings. The main objective of this research has been the study the rela-tionship between sympathetic reactivity patterns, measured by elec-trodermal activity, and the alexithymia level, in a stressful laboratory situa-tion. The subjects were high- or low-alexithymic young females (separated by TAS-20). The experiment involved six phases and the sympathetic reactivity was assessed in each one of them, using the Palmar Sweat Index (PSI), a sensitive indicator of the number of active sweat glands. The re-sults show that both alexithymic and non-alexithymic subjects showed significant increases in PSI during stress phases and systematic decreases in all relaxation phases. We also obtained significant differences between TAS-20 low and high scores and between aggregated experimental phases, but no evidence of interaction TAS-20 x experimental phases. The results provide little support with the hypothesis that alexithymic subjects are more physiologically reactive to stress.
Palabras clave: Emotion, alexithymia, stress, palmar sweat index.
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Sistema de Información Científica Redalyc
Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y el Caribe, España y Portugal
Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
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