All authors reported no financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.
Visual body perception in anorexia nervosa†
Article first published online: 24 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 45, Issue 4, pages 501–511, May 2012
How to Cite
Urgesi, C., Fornasari, L., Perini, L., Canalaz, F., Cremaschi, S., Faleschini, L., Balestrieri, M., Fabbro, F., Aglioti, S. M. and Brambilla, P. (2012), Visual body perception in anorexia nervosa. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 45: 501–511. doi: 10.1002/eat.20982
- Issue published online: 6 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 24 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 NOV 2011
- Progetto Giovani Ricercatori. Grant Number: GR-2008-1137139
- Italian Ministry of Health and by IRCCS “E. Medea” (Ricerca Corrente, Italian Ministry of Health)
- anorexia nervosa;
- body perception;
- extrastriate body area;
- neuropsychology: eating disorders
Disturbance of body perception is a central aspect of anorexia nervosa (AN) and several neuroimaging studies have documented structural and functional alterations of occipito-temporal cortices involved in visual body processing. However, it is unclear whether these perceptual deficits involve more basic aspects of others' body perception.
A consecutive sample of 15 adolescent patients with AN were compared with a group of 15 age- and gender-matched controls in delayed matching to sample tasks requiring the visual discrimination of the form or of the action of others' body.
Patients showed better visual discrimination performance than controls in detail-based processing of body forms but not of body actions, which positively correlated with their increased tendency to convert a signal of punishment into a signal of reinforcement (higher persistence scores).
The paradoxical advantage of patients with AN in detail-based body processing may be associated to their tendency to routinely explore body parts as a consequence of their obsessive worries about body appearance. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)