Affective agnosia

Expansion of the alexithymia construct and a new opportunity to integrate and extend Freud's legacy

Richard D Lane, Karen L Weihs, Anne Herring, Alex Hishaw, Ryan Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We describe a new type of agnosia consisting of an impairment in the ability to mentally represent or know what one is feeling. Freud the neurologist coined the term "agnosia" in 1891 before creating psychoanalysis in 1895 but the term has not been previously applied to the domain of affective processing. We propose that the concept of "affective agnosia" advances the theory, measurement and treatment of what is now called "alexithymia," meaning "lack of words for emotion." We trace the origin of the alexithymia construct and discuss the strengths and limitations of extant research. We review evidence that the ability to represent and put emotions into words is a developmental achievement that strongly influences one's ability to experience, recognize, understand and use one's own emotional responses. We describe the neural substrates of emotional awareness and affective agnosia and compare and contrast these with related conditions. We then describe how this expansion of the conceptualization and measurement of affective processing deficits has important implications for basic emotion research and clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-611
Number of pages18
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume55
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Fingerprint

Agnosia
Affective Symptoms
Aptitude
Emotions
Psychoanalysis
Research

Keywords

  • Agnosia
  • Alexithymia
  • Anomia
  • Brain
  • Emotional awareness
  • Psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

Affective agnosia : Expansion of the alexithymia construct and a new opportunity to integrate and extend Freud's legacy. / Lane, Richard D; Weihs, Karen L; Herring, Anne; Hishaw, Alex; Smith, Ryan.

In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 55, 01.08.2015, p. 594-611.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{4d3a0b4a85e046649081419b87024682,
title = "Affective agnosia: Expansion of the alexithymia construct and a new opportunity to integrate and extend Freud's legacy",
abstract = "We describe a new type of agnosia consisting of an impairment in the ability to mentally represent or know what one is feeling. Freud the neurologist coined the term {"}agnosia{"} in 1891 before creating psychoanalysis in 1895 but the term has not been previously applied to the domain of affective processing. We propose that the concept of {"}affective agnosia{"} advances the theory, measurement and treatment of what is now called {"}alexithymia,{"} meaning {"}lack of words for emotion.{"} We trace the origin of the alexithymia construct and discuss the strengths and limitations of extant research. We review evidence that the ability to represent and put emotions into words is a developmental achievement that strongly influences one's ability to experience, recognize, understand and use one's own emotional responses. We describe the neural substrates of emotional awareness and affective agnosia and compare and contrast these with related conditions. We then describe how this expansion of the conceptualization and measurement of affective processing deficits has important implications for basic emotion research and clinical practice.",
keywords = "Agnosia, Alexithymia, Anomia, Brain, Emotional awareness, Psychotherapy",
author = "Lane, {Richard D} and Weihs, {Karen L} and Anne Herring and Alex Hishaw and Ryan Smith",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.06.007",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "55",
pages = "594--611",
journal = "Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews",
issn = "0149-7634",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Affective agnosia

T2 - Expansion of the alexithymia construct and a new opportunity to integrate and extend Freud's legacy

AU - Lane, Richard D

AU - Weihs, Karen L

AU - Herring, Anne

AU - Hishaw, Alex

AU - Smith, Ryan

PY - 2015/8/1

Y1 - 2015/8/1

N2 - We describe a new type of agnosia consisting of an impairment in the ability to mentally represent or know what one is feeling. Freud the neurologist coined the term "agnosia" in 1891 before creating psychoanalysis in 1895 but the term has not been previously applied to the domain of affective processing. We propose that the concept of "affective agnosia" advances the theory, measurement and treatment of what is now called "alexithymia," meaning "lack of words for emotion." We trace the origin of the alexithymia construct and discuss the strengths and limitations of extant research. We review evidence that the ability to represent and put emotions into words is a developmental achievement that strongly influences one's ability to experience, recognize, understand and use one's own emotional responses. We describe the neural substrates of emotional awareness and affective agnosia and compare and contrast these with related conditions. We then describe how this expansion of the conceptualization and measurement of affective processing deficits has important implications for basic emotion research and clinical practice.

AB - We describe a new type of agnosia consisting of an impairment in the ability to mentally represent or know what one is feeling. Freud the neurologist coined the term "agnosia" in 1891 before creating psychoanalysis in 1895 but the term has not been previously applied to the domain of affective processing. We propose that the concept of "affective agnosia" advances the theory, measurement and treatment of what is now called "alexithymia," meaning "lack of words for emotion." We trace the origin of the alexithymia construct and discuss the strengths and limitations of extant research. We review evidence that the ability to represent and put emotions into words is a developmental achievement that strongly influences one's ability to experience, recognize, understand and use one's own emotional responses. We describe the neural substrates of emotional awareness and affective agnosia and compare and contrast these with related conditions. We then describe how this expansion of the conceptualization and measurement of affective processing deficits has important implications for basic emotion research and clinical practice.

KW - Agnosia

KW - Alexithymia

KW - Anomia

KW - Brain

KW - Emotional awareness

KW - Psychotherapy

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84935029900&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84935029900&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.06.007

DO - 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.06.007

M3 - Article

VL - 55

SP - 594

EP - 611

JO - Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

JF - Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

SN - 0149-7634

ER -