Time keeping and disgust processing in Anorexia Nervosa

Proposal details

Title: Exploring the linking between time keeping and disgust processing in Anorexia nervosa
Research Area(s): Adolescent Health
Emotion and Self Regulation
Thinking and Cognition
Background: Scholars have identified several neural structures sub-serving time keeping mechanisms. In this regard, of particular interest is the insula cortex, as this region has been considered a key structure of the complex cortical and subcortical network sub-serving and regulating our ability to keep track of the elapsing time. Since the PET study by Lejeune et al. (1997, Neurosci Lett.) demonstrating the involvement of the anterior insula in a synchronization paradigm, numerous brain imaging studies have implicated this region in timing tasks (see Kosillo and Smith, 2010, Brain Struct. Funct. for a review). The anterior insula is also considered important in the processing of disgust. For example, the study by Wicker et al., (2003, Neuron), has documented increased anterior insula activation while experiencing sensory disgust as well as while perceiving faces expressing disgust (i.e., social disgust). An abnormal activity of the anterior insula is a hallmark of the neurophysiopathology of Anorexia Nervosa – AN (e.g., Kim et al., 2012, Neurosci. Letters; Oberndorfer et al., 2013, Am J. Psychiatry). This suggests that the ability to detect time processing might be deranged in this clinical population. We propose to compare the timing performance between AN participants and healthy controls. We will investigate any relationship between timing performance and the ERP measures during the exposure to the expression of disgust emotion, as this clinical disorder has been associated to an enhanced disgust sensitivity/ altered disgust processing (e.g., Vicario, 2013, Am. J. Psychiatry).
Aims: We expected alteration in Time processing skills of AN, compared to healthy controls, which correlates with the disgust emotion related ERP measure.
Method: Group comparisons on timing task and correlation analyses including ERP measures