SBI Research Seminar May 25, 2015 at 12.15

Lecture room: Tellus, Scheeles väg 1, Karolinska Institutet

Lunchsandwich will be served.


Functional interactions between perceptual and affective body representations in the brain: implications for eating disorder vulnerability in women.

catherine preston

Dr. Catherine Preston

Marie Curie Research Fellow

Department of Neuroscience

Karolinska Institutet


Negative feelings towards our body can have devastating consequences being associated with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. However, virtually nothing is known about the brain mechanisms involved in the development of such negative feelings towards the own body. Here we used multisensory illusions to modulate the perceived body shape of healthy participants whilst registering changes in brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and measuring behavioural changes in reported body satisfaction. The results were then related this to non-clinical levels of eating disorder psychopathology. Evidence for links between perceptual and affective body representations in the brain were found via effective connectivity between the intra parietal sulcus (body perception) and both the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex (emotion). The results also connect brain regions previously associated with anorexia to non-clinical eating disorder psychopathology in non-emaciated healthy Furthermore, reduced cingulate activity identified in females may reflect mechanisms underlying increased body dissatisfaction and eating disorder vulnerability in women.

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