Body schema and self-representation in patients with bulimia nervosa

Cosimo Urgesi, Livia Fornasari, Sara De Faccio, Laura Perini, Elisa Mattiussi, Rossana Ciano, Matteo Balestrieri, Franco Fabbro, Paolo Brambilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Neuroimaging evidences in eating disorder (ED) patients document dysfunctional neural activity of the posterior parietal cortex, which is engaged in the representation of body schema. Yet a full neuropsychological investigation of body schema representation in ED patients is lacking. We examined mental imagery and body schema representation in patients with bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED). Method: Consecutive samples of 15 BN patients and 15 BED patients were compared with two groups of 15 age-matched controls in tasks requiring body or object mental transformation. Results: BN, but not BED patients, were selectively impaired in the mental transformation of their own body, although this deficit was not correlated with measures of body dissatisfaction. In contrast, no patient group was impaired in the mental transformation of external objects. Discussion: Results showed altered self-body representation in BN, but not BED patients, as the neuropsychological consequences of posterior parietal cortex dysfunctions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-248
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • Binge eating disorder
  • Body schema
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Eating disorders
  • Self representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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