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Keywords:

  • eating disorders;
  • body size;
  • body image disturbances;
  • right hemisphere;
  • left hemisphere;
  • handedness

Abstract

Objective:

Previous research has shown decreased access in strong right-handers to processes lateralized to the right cerebral hemisphere. The current studies tested the hypothesis that decreased access to right hemisphere processes, as indexed by increasing strength of right-hand preference, is associated with deficits in body image representation.

Method:

Experiment 1 measured individual's perceived versus actual BMI values. Experiment 2 involved the administration of the Eating Disorders Inventory-2 (EDI-2).

Results:

Experiment 1 revealed that strong right-handedness was associated with a larger discrepancy between actual and perceived BMI, relative to mixed-handedness. In Experiment 2, strong-handers scored higher on the EDI-2 than did mixed-handers.

Conclusion:

The results indicate that strong degrees of handedness are associated with deficits in accurate representation of body image and with increased eating disorder symptomatology in a nonclinical sample. Implications for research into the neural bases of eating disorders are discussed. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007