alexa Alexithymia, Physiological Reactivity and Cognitive Appraisals of Emotional Stimuli in Opiate Dependents: A Pilot Study. | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2155-9562

Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology
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Research Article

Alexithymia, Physiological Reactivity and Cognitive Appraisals of Emotional Stimuli in Opiate Dependents: A Pilot Study.

Marco Torrado1*, Hugo Silva2, Susana Eusébio3, Ana Fred4 and Silvia Ouakinin5

1Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology University Clinics, Portugal

2Technical Institute, University of Lisbon, Portugal

3University of Lisbon, Portugal

4University of Lisbon, Portugal

5Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology University, Portugal

Corresponding Author:
Marco Torrado
Invited Professor, Faculty of Medicine
University of Lisbon, Medical Psychology
Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, Hospital Santa Maria
1649-028 Lisboa Lisboa, Portugal
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: October 17, 2014; Accepted date: December 29, 2014; Published date: January 05, 2015

Citation: Torrado M, Silva H, Eusébio S, Fred A, Ouakinin S (2015) Alexithymia, Physiological Reactivity and Cognitive Appraisals of Emotional Stimuli in Opiate Dependents: A Pilot Study.. J Neurol Neurophysiol 6:263. doi:10.4172/2155-9562.1000263

Copyright: ©2014 Torrado M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate psychophysiological reactivity to daily-life stimuli in opiate
dependents and associations with alexithymia. Methods: The sample (n=72) was composed of a heroin addicts
group treated with methadone and a healthy group, studied in several variables. Participants completed the
Portuguese versions of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 items, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the
Mini-Mental State Examination. They were also exposed to images from The International Affective Pictures System
(IAPS) and physiological parameters and ratings of valence and arousal were collected. Results: Opiate dependents
showed more alexithymia than controls and higher autonomic reactivity to stimuli. Higher levels of alexithymia
seems to moderate an inverse association between heart rate and cognitive appraisals of unpleasant stimuli in this
sample. Conclusion: A dysregulated brain-peripheral integration increased by the long term-use of drugs and
damage in prefrontal regions are discussed as potential etiological factors supporting the presence of emotional
deficits in these populations.


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