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Keywords:

  • biological motion;
  • body image disturbances;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • motion perception

Abstract

Objective:

The aim of the present study was to find out whether in bulimia nervosa the perceptual component of a disturbed body image is restricted to the overestimation of one's own body dimensions (static body image) or can be extended to a misperception of one's own motion patterns (dynamic body image).

Method:

Participants with bulimia nervosa (n = 30) and normal controls (n = 55) estimated their body dimensions by means of a photo distortion technique and their walking patterns using a biological motion distortion device.

Results:

Not only did participants with bulimia nervosa overestimate their own body dimensions, but also they perceived their own motion patterns corresponding to a higher BMI than did controls. Static body image was correlated with shape/weight concerns and drive for thinness, whereas dynamic body image was associated with social insecurity and body image avoidance.

Conclusion:

In bulimia nervosa, body image disturbances can be extended to a dynamic component. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006