Neuroscience research links alexithymia, the difficulty in identifying and describing feelings and emotions, with left hemisphere dominance and/or right hemisphere deficit. To provide behavioral evidence for this neuroscientific hypothesis, we explored the relationship between alexithymia and performance in a line bisection task, a standard method for evaluating visuospatial processing in relation to right hemisphere functioning. We enrolled 222 healthy participants who completed a version of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), which measures alexithymia, and were asked to mark (bisect) the center of a 10-cm horizontal segment. The results document a significant rightward shift in the center of the line in participants with borderline and manifest alexithymia compared with non-alexithymic individuals. The higher the TAS-20 score, the greater the rightward shift in the line bisection task. This finding supports the right hemisphere deficit hypothesis in alexithymia and suggests that visuospatial abnormalities may be an important component of this mental condition.
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