The Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris, and San Diego Autoquestionnaire (TEMPS-A) has grown to be a clinically important outcome measure in the diagnosis and the clinical course of mood disorders. However, temperaments, which represent the biologically stable core of personality, are not just antecedents of major affective disorders, but also serve as a reservoir of genetically advantageous traits for the survival of different cultures. The rapidly growing body of research in psychiatric and non-psychiatric fields even raises the question of temperament as a common root in psychiatric and somatic disorders, providing a new meaning for the construct of psychosomatic disorders. In this review we aim to summarize current knowledge on both the neurobiological background and clinical importance of affective temperaments including implications for future research.
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