Affective agnosia: a core affective processing deficit in the alexithymia spectrum
Richard D. Lane, Mark Solms, Karen L. Weihs, Alex Hishaw & Ryan Smith
BioPsychoSocial Medicine volume 14, Article number: 20 (2020)
Affective agnosia, an impairment in knowing how one feels emotionally, has been described as an extreme deficit in the experience and expression of emotion that may confer heightened risk for adverse medical outcomes. Alexithymia, by contrast, has been proposed as an over-arching construct that includes a spectrum of deficits of varying severity, including affective agnosia at the more severe end. This perspective has been challenged by Taylor and colleagues, who argue that the concept of affective agnosia is unnecessary. The authors compare these two perspectives by highlighting areas of agreement, reasons for asserting the importance of the affective agnosia concept, errors in Taylor and colleagues’ critique, and measurement issues.
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