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Subliminal fear priming potentiates negative facial reactions to food pictures in women with anorexia nervosa.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: To investigate hedonic reactivity and the influence of unconscious emotional processes on the low sensitivity to positive reinforcement of food in anorexia nervosa (AN). METHOD: AN and healthy women were exposed to palatable food pictures just after a subliminal exposure to facial expressions (happy, disgust, fear and neutral faces), either while fasting or after a standardized meal (hunger versus satiety). Both implicit [facial electromyographic (EMG) activity from zygomatic and corrugator muscles, skin conductance, heart rate, and videotaped facial behavior] and explicit (self-reported pleasure and desire) measures of affective processes were recorded. RESULTS: In contrast to healthy women, the AN patients did not display objective and subjective indices of pleasure to food pictures when they were in the hunger states. Pleasure to food cues (liking) was more affected than the desire to eat (wanting) in AN patients. Subliminal 'fear faces' increased corrugator muscle reactivity to food stimuli in fasting AN patients, as compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that unconscious fear cues increase the negative appraisal of alimentary stimuli in AN patients and thus contribute to decreased energy intake.
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https://hal-univ-bourgogne.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00681311
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 11:18:49 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 2:04:09 PM

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R. Soussignan, T. Jiang, D. Rigaud, J. P. Royet, B. Schaal. Subliminal fear priming potentiates negative facial reactions to food pictures in women with anorexia nervosa.. Psychological Medicine, 2010, 40 (3), pp.503-14. ⟨10.1017/S0033291709990377⟩. ⟨hal-00681311⟩

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