Appetitive Regulation in Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

Walter Kaye and Tyson Oberndorfer

in The Oxford Handbook of Eating Disorders

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780195373622
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940318 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Appetitive Regulation in Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

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Anorexia and bulimia nervosa are complex disorders with dysregulated appetitive behaviors. The underlying causes of disturbed eating patterns are unknown, but in theory, could involve aberrant functioning of brain or peripheral systems. New technologies, such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), can be used to explore whether there are perturbations of the monoamine systems and the neurocircuitry of gustatory processing in eating disorders. Together, PET and fMRI data suggest that individuals with eating disorders have disturbance of taste and reward processing regions of the brain, which may contribute to eating disorder symptoms.

Keywords: anorexia nervosa; anterior insula; bulimia nervosa; dopamine; eating disorders; functional magnetic resonance imaging; orbitofrontal cortex; positron emission tomography; serotonin

Article.  21514 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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