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Nutrients 2017, 9(8), 903; doi:10.3390/nu9080903

Cognitive Food Processing in Binge-Eating Disorder: An Eye-Tracking Study

1
Integrated Research and Treatment Center AdiposityDiseases, Leipzig University Medical Center, Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Leipzig 04103, Germany
2
Department of Psychology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg 1700, Switzerland
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 19 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Binge Eating Disorder)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [255 KB, uploaded 19 August 2017]

Abstract

Studies indicate an attentional bias towards food in binge-eating disorder (BED); however, more evidence on attentional engagement and disengagement and processing of multiple attention-competing stimuli is needed. This study aimed to examine visual attention to food and non-food stimuli in BED. In n = 23 participants with full-syndrome and subsyndromal BED and n = 23 individually matched healthy controls, eye-tracking was used to assess attention to food and non-food stimuli during a free exploration paradigm and a visual search task. In the free exploration paradigm, groups did not differ in their initial fixation position. While both groups fixated non-food stimuli significantly longer than food stimuli, the BED group allocated significantly more attention towards food than controls. In the visual search task, groups did not differ in detection times. However, a significant detection bias for food was found in full-syndrome BED, but not in controls. An increased initial attention towards food was related to greater BED symptomatology and lower body mass index (BMI) only in full-syndrome BED, while a greater maintained attention to food was associated with lower BMI in controls. The results suggest food-biased visual attentional processing in adults with BED. Further studies should clarify the implications of attentional processes for the etiology and maintenance of BED. View Full-Text
Keywords: binge-eating disorder; eating disorder; attentional bias; visual; eye-tracking binge-eating disorder; eating disorder; attentional bias; visual; eye-tracking
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sperling, I.; Baldofski, S.; Lüthold, P.; Hilbert, A. Cognitive Food Processing in Binge-Eating Disorder: An Eye-Tracking Study. Nutrients 2017, 9, 903.

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