• search hit 4 of 6
Back to Result List

Electrophysiologic evidence for multilevel deficits in emotional face processing in patients with Bulimia Nervosa

  • Background: Empirical evidence suggests substantial deficits regarding emotion recognition in bulimia nervosa (BN). The aim of the current study was to investigate electrophysiologic evidence for deficits in emotional face processing in patients with BN. Methods: Event-related potentials were recorded from 13 women with BN and 13 matched healthy controls while viewing neutral, happy, fearful, and angry facial expressions. Participants' recognition performance for emotional faces was tested in a subsequent categorization task. In addition, the degree of alexithymia, depression, and anxiety were assessed via questionnaires. Results: Categorization of emotional faces was hampered in BN (p = .01). Amplitudes of event-related potentials differed during emotional face processing: face-specific N170 amplitudes were less pronounced for angry faces in patients with BN (mean [M] [standard deviation {SD}] = 1.46 [0.56] mu V versus M [SD] = -1.23 [0.61] mu V, p = .02). In contrast, P3 amplitudes were more pronounced in patients with BN asBackground: Empirical evidence suggests substantial deficits regarding emotion recognition in bulimia nervosa (BN). The aim of the current study was to investigate electrophysiologic evidence for deficits in emotional face processing in patients with BN. Methods: Event-related potentials were recorded from 13 women with BN and 13 matched healthy controls while viewing neutral, happy, fearful, and angry facial expressions. Participants' recognition performance for emotional faces was tested in a subsequent categorization task. In addition, the degree of alexithymia, depression, and anxiety were assessed via questionnaires. Results: Categorization of emotional faces was hampered in BN (p = .01). Amplitudes of event-related potentials differed during emotional face processing: face-specific N170 amplitudes were less pronounced for angry faces in patients with BN (mean [M] [standard deviation {SD}] = 1.46 [0.56] mu V versus M [SD] = -1.23 [0.61] mu V, p = .02). In contrast, P3 amplitudes were more pronounced in patients with BN as compared with controls (M [SD] = 2.64 [0.46] mu V versus M [SD] = 1.25 [0.39] mu V, p = .04), independent of emotional expression. Conclusions: The study provides novel electrophysiologic data showing that emotional faces are processed differently in patients with BN as compared with healthy controls. We suggest that deficits in early automatic emotion classification in BN are followed by an increased allocation of attentional resources to compensate for those deficits. These findings might contribute to a better understanding of the impaired social functioning in BN.show moreshow less

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar Statistics
Metadaten
Author:Nicole Kühnpast, Klaus Gramann, Olga Pollatos
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e31825ca15a
ISSN:0033-3174 (print)
Parent Title (English):Psychosomatic medicine
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication:Philadelphia
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:EEG; N170; N2; P3; bulimia nervosa; eating disorders; emotions; face recognition
Volume:74
Issue:7
Pagenumber:9
First Page:736
Last Page:744
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert