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Anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphia, two commonly comorbid disorders characterized by Body Image Concerns (BIC), are not yet well understood at a neuropsychological level due to the complex array of symptoms. Individuals with BIC often display two cognitive-perceptual processing differences: visuospatial deficits and weak central coherence. This often contributes to perceived defects in visual appearance of the body. In this study, perceptual performance differences were examined using a set of 432 globally convex randomly deformed 3D shapes. These stimuli differed across several variable categories including complexity and the presence or absence of symmetry. A sample of female undergraduate students completed a two-alternative forced choice task that involved matching a target stimuli to its rotated counterpart. Participants then completed the Eating Disorders Diagnostic Scale (EDDS) and the Body Image Disturbance Questionnaire (BIDQ) as measures of BIC. The results, performance in terms of speed and accuracy, support the hypothesis that females with Body Image Concerns may process information differently at a perceptual level. These and similar results further our understanding of anorexia nervosa & body dysmorphia and may eventually aid in diagnosis and/or treatment.

The relationship between body image concerns and 3d shape perception