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Date of Publication: 
2011/11

Background: Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) are more emotionally involved with food stimuli (Giel et al., 2011). More emotional arousal is associated with higher amplitudes of evoked potentials in the EEG (Cuthbert et al., 2000). Objective: Investigation of neural correlates measured by EEG (visually evoked potentials) that are associated with the reactions to food and emotional stimuli in AN patients. Methods: 13 AN patients and 13 healthy controls watched food and emotional pictures during EEG measurement. After the presentation, the pictures were rated by SAM scales (Lang et al., 2008) and psychological tests for depression, emotional competence and eating behavior were performed. Results: AN patients judged the food pictures as more arousing and less pleasant compared to the control group (p<0,05). AN patients showed higher depression scores, less emotional competence and more cognitive control in their eating behavior than healthy controls (p<0,05). Conclusion: Compared to healthy controls, AN patients are more emotionally involved with food stimuli and show deficits in psychological traits concerning emotionality.

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