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Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Oct 15;68(8):755-61. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.04.037. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

Attentional bias, emotion recognition, and emotion regulation in anorexia: state or trait?

Author information

  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, United Kingdom. amy.harrison@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is associated with difficulties in emotion recognition and regulation and with attentional biases to social affective stimuli. This study aimed to examine these factors in a group of women following long-term recovery from AN.

METHODS:

The Reading the Mind in the Eyes task, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, and a computerized pictorial Stroop task (angry and neutral faces) were administered to 175 women: 50 with acute AN, 35 recovered from AN, and 90 healthy control subjects (HCs).

RESULTS:

The recovered group had a significantly higher social and angry-threat attentional bias than HCs, with medium effect sizes, and significantly lower scores on the emotion recognition measure than HCs, with a medium effect size. On the other hand, the recovered group did not significantly differ from the HC group in terms of emotion regulation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Attentional biases to social affective pictorial stimuli and difficulties with emotion recognition appear to be traits associated with a lifetime history of AN, whereas emotion regulation difficulties appear to remit when the individual successfully recovers from the illness.

Copyright © 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20591417
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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