July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Attentional bias for body-related visual stimuli in eating disorder tendency.
Author Affiliations
  • Moe Nagahata
    Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Humanities, Senshu University
  • Hiroshi Ishikane
    Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Humanities, Senshu University
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 442. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.442
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      Moe Nagahata, Hiroshi Ishikane; Attentional bias for body-related visual stimuli in eating disorder tendency.. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):442. https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.442.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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It has been suggested that patients with eating disorders have a distorted body image and show an attentional bias for information related to the human body. However, little is known about the relationship between attentional properties and eating behaviors of healthy volunteers. Therefore, attentional bias for body-related information in female undergraduate participants, without eating disorders that volunteered was investigated. First, the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI-91), a questionnaire assessing the eating disorder tendency was administered to the participants. Then, we conducted an experiment using the visual search paradigm. Participants were shown stimuli consisting of pictures of the human body and neutral stimuli not related to the body in a target, or a distractor condition using a computer display. Either four pictures in the same category (target absent trial), or three pictures in the same and one in a different category (target present trial) were presented simultaneously. Participants’ judged whether the four presented stimuli were the same, or included one stimulus of a different category by pressing a key. Their reaction times (RT) and electroencephalograms were recorded. Results indicated that the RTs were faster in the human body condition than in the neutral target and neutral distractor condition. Moreover, participants with high body dissatisfaction (BD) as measured by EDI-91 subscale detected human body related stimuli faster than neutral stimuli. Furthermore, the amplitude of N2 event-related potential correlated with BD in the body stimuli distractor condition. These results suggest that body stimuli facilitate an attention shift, and therefore they might cost few attentional resources in participants with a high eating disorder tendency. This attentional bias correlates with BD in various aspects of the eating disorder tendency and occurs in several levels of cognition.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013


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