Body Inversion Effect in Patients with Bulimia Nervosa

Neele Kröger
2019 unpublished
Body image disturbances (BID) have been identified as an important factor contributing to the maintenance of eating disorders (EDs). BID are associated with an attentional bias towards specific body parts and self-objectification. Therefore, it is hypothesized that persons with EDs process bodies only analytically, whereas the body processing in healthy controls is facilitated by an additional configural processing. In this study, we investigated if women with bulimia nervosa (n = 19) show
more » ... rments in configural processing by comparing their performance in an inversion task with performances of healthy controls (n = 19) and if this impairment is accompanied by a higher selfobjectification. The inversion task consisted of three parts with different stimulus categories (bodies with faces, bodies without faces and faces). A three-factor mixed ANOVA revealed no significant group differences in the mean accuracy rates and reaction times resulting from the inversion tasks. Also the self-objectification self-report measurement revealed no group differences. The groups only differed in the way that persons with bulimia nervosa reported a more frequent body checking behavior. However, in both groups we found significant inversion effects for faces and bodies with faces but not for bodies without faces. This is in line with the domain-general-hypothesis, stating that there is only a face inversion effect but no body inversion effect. Our findings suggest that impairments in configural processing do not account for BID in women with bulimia nervosa. However, the results might not be meaningful, since the study design is underpowered.
doi:10.25365/thesis.56484 fatcat:oer4zm6tnfck5nhau3j7qmkw6u