Body shape rather than facial emotion of others alters interpersonal distance in patients with anorexia nervosa - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles European Eating Disorders Review Year : 2024

Body shape rather than facial emotion of others alters interpersonal distance in patients with anorexia nervosa

Abstract

Abstract Objective The study investigated interpersonal distance in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), focussing on the role of other's facial expression and morphology, also assessing physiological and subjective responses. Method Twenty‐nine patients with AN and 30 controls (CTL) were exposed to virtual characters either with an angry, neutral, or happy facial expression or with an overweight, normal‐weight, or underweight morphology presented either in the near or far space while we recorded electrodermal activity. Participants had to judge their preferred interpersonal distance with the characters and rated them in terms of valence and arousal. Results Unlike CTL, patients with AN exhibited heightened electrodermal activity for morphological stimuli only, when presented in the near space. They also preferred larger and smaller interpersonal distances with overweight and underweight characters respectively, although rating both negatively. Finally, and similar to CTL, they preferred larger interpersonal distance with angry than neutral or happy characters. Discussion Although patients with AN exhibited behavioural response to emotional stimuli similar to CTL, they lacked corresponding physiological response, indicating emotional blunting towards emotional social stimuli. Moreover, they showed distinct behavioural and physiological adjustments in response to body shape, confirming the specific emotional significance attached to body shape.
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inserm-04604421 , version 1 (07-06-2024)

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Alice Cartaud, Philibert Duriez, Johanna Querenghi, Jean‐louis Nandrino, Philip Gorwood, et al.. Body shape rather than facial emotion of others alters interpersonal distance in patients with anorexia nervosa. European Eating Disorders Review, 2024, Online ahead of print. ⟨10.1002/erv.3098⟩. ⟨inserm-04604421⟩
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