The analysis of sequences of words and prosody, meter, and rhythm provided in an interview addressing the capacity to identify and describe emotions represents a powerful tool to reveal emotional processing. The ability to express and identify emotions was analyzed by means of the Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia (TSIA), and TSIA transcripts were analyzed by Natural Language Processing to shed light on verbal features. The brain correlates of the capacity to translate emotional experience into words were determined through cortical thickness measures. A machine learning methodology proved that individuals with deficits in identifying and describing emotions (n = 7) produced language distortions, frequently used the present tense of auxiliary verbs, and few possessive determiners, as well as scarcely connected the speech, in comparison to individuals without deficits (n = 7). Interestingly, they showed high cortical thickness at left temporal pole and low at isthmus of the right cingulate cortex. Overall, we identified the neuro-linguistic pattern of the expression of emotional experience.
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