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Absence of Emotion in Thyroid Patients
(Negative Emotions Research Domain)

Project Leader
Toshio Kawai, Ph.D., Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

Collaborative Research Affiliates
Shun-ichi Noma, MD, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University (Psychiatric Medicine)
Mika Tanaka, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist of Kuma Hospital (Clinical Psychology)
Yumi Kanayama, Ph.D., Professor, Kyoto Bunkyo University (Clinical Psychology)
Haruko Kuwabara, Senior Lecturer, Okayama University (Clinical Psychology)
Atsushi Fukao, MD, Director of Ibaraki City Health and Medical Center (Psychosomatic Medicine)
Kotaro Umemura, Senior Lecturer, Kyoto Bunkyo University (Clinical Psychology)

Collaborators from the Kokoro Research Center
Chihiro Hasegawa, Research Assistant (Clinical Psychology)

Thyroid diseases have long been viewed as psychosomatic disorders, and the importance of their psychological aspects has been pointed out. Alexithymia (= the absence of emotion, Sifneos, 1973) is an important concept common to all psychosomatic disorders. Within the context of its relationship to negative emotions, a core project of the Center, in the present research, we intend to conduct studies on the issue of alexithymia in which negative emotions are not manifested.

In existing research on thyroid diseases, for example, problems relating to difficulties in revealing reflective emotions have been pointed out in psychological tests. Through research to determine the sort of psychological characteristics with which the absence of emotion is associated, we expect to clarify what it means to have negative emotions.