Reward abnormalities among women with bulimia nervosa: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study
Bohon, Cara, 1981-
The current study measured BOLD brain response using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore the hypothesis that women with bulimia nervosa have a hyper-responsivity of the mesolimbic reward system. Women with bulimia nervosa and healthy controls (N=24) completed an fMRI paradigm involving anticipated and actual receipt of chocolate milkshake and a tasteless control solution. Women with bulimia nervosa showed less activation than healthy controls in the right anterior insula in response to anticipatory food reward and in the left medial orbitofrontal cortex, right posterior insula, right precentral gyms, and right mid dorsal insula in response to consummatory food reward. Covariates related to bulimia diagnosis accounted for some of these effects, but not all. Results suggest that bulimia nervosa may be related to hypo-functioning of the brain reward system rather than hyper-functioning. Implications for intervention and future research are discussed.