Faced with one's fear: Attentional bias in anorexia nervosa and healthy individuals upon confrontation with an obese body stimulus in an eye-tracking paradigm

Autor(en): Hartmann, Andrea Sabrina
Borgers, Tiana
Thomas, Jennifer Joanne
Giabbiconi, Claire-Marie
Vocks, Silja 
Stichwörter: anorexia nervosa; Behavioral Sciences; body dissatisfaction in women; body-related attentional bias; EATING-DISORDERS; eye-tracking; IMAGES; LOOKING; Neurosciences; Neurosciences & Neurology; PARTS; SELECTIVE ATTENTION; WOMEN
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Herausgeber: WILEY
Journal: BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR
Volumen: 10
Ausgabe: 11
Zusammenfassung: 
Objectives Cognitive biases, particularly attentional biases, have been shown to be central to anorexia nervosa (AN). This study looked at attention deployment when consecutively viewing an obese and own body stimulus that both might represent feared stimuli in AN. Methods Individuals with AN (n = 26) and mentally healthy controls (MHCs;n = 16) viewed a picture of themselves and a standardized computer-generated obese body in random order for 4,000 ms each and then rated the attractiveness of the body parts of both stimuli. We compared dwell times on subjectively unattractive versus attractive body parts, and body parts that show weight status and gain most strongly (stomach, hips, thighs) versus least strongly. Results For both stimuli, participants focused longer on the subjectively unattractive body parts (p < .01 and .001), with an even stronger attentional bias in individuals with AN regarding the obese stimulus (p < .05). Both groups also gazed longer at body parts indicative of weight status or gain (both stimulip < .001), with no group differences. Conclusions The attentional bias to one's own subjectively unattractive body parts might represent a mechanism maintaining body image disturbance in women in general. This attentional bias is even stronger when women with AN are confronted with an obese stimulus, highlighting a potential mental preoccupation with being fat or weight gain and a behavior distinct for the disorder.
ISSN: 21623279
DOI: 10.1002/brb3.1834

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