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Table 1 Summary of physiological responses to food stimuli

From: Physiological, emotional and neural responses to visual stimuli in eating disorders: a review

  Participants Image type Physiological outcome Result of food stimuli
Racine et al. 2016 [26] • 19 AN females • Positive images
• Negative images
• Neutral images
• Food images
• Startle blink response • Potentiated startle response > neutral
Friederich et al. 2006 [27] • 15 AN female
• 15 BN female
• 30 HC female
• Food images
• Body images
• Positive images
• Neutral images
• Aversive images
• Startle blink response • BN startle inhibition > neutral
• No significantly different response in AN
Mauler et al. 2006 [28] • 32 BN women
• 32 HC women
• Unpleasant images
• Neutral images
• Pleasant images
• Food images
• Startle blink response
• Corrugator EMG
• HR
• SCR
• BN potentiated startle > control
• BN increased corrugator activity > HC
Drobes et al. 2001 [29] • 23 controls
• 13 with restrained eating
• 19 with binge behaviours
• 21 food deprived subjects
• Unpleasant images
• Pleasant images
• Food images
• Neutral images
• Startle blink response
• HR
• SCR
• Binge group potentiated startle response
• Binge group greater startle response > control
• Elevated HR for both binge and restrained
Suissa Rocheleau et al. 2019 [30] • 18 controls
• 19 with binge eating symptoms
• 19 with dietary restriction symptoms
• 23 with restriction and binge eating symptoms
• Food images
• Pleasant images
• Aversive images
• Neutral images
• Startle blink response • Higher self-reported craving correlated with a larger startle reflex
• Binge and restrictive behaviours caused decreased startle reflex to food cues
Soussignan et al. 2009 [31] • 16 AN females
• 25 HC females
• Food images • Facial EMG
• SCR
• HR
• AN decreased zygomatic activity
Racine et al.
2017 [32]
• 67 male and female participants who completed the eating disorder examination questionnaire • Food images
• Neutral images
• Aversive images
• Pleasant images
• Startle probe
• Post auricular reflex
• Facial EMG
• High eating disorder cognitions had increased corrugator activation > neutral
• Increased post auricular reflex in those with binge eating behaviours > those without
Overduin et al. 1997 [33] • 11 female restrained eaters
• 13 female controls
• Neutral images
• Food images
• Body images
• SCR
• HR
• Startle reflex
• Facial EMG
• Decreased corrugator activity in restrained > unrestrained eaters for food images
• No other group differences seen
Leehr et al.
2016 [34]
• 16 Overweight women with BED
• 23 Overweight women without BED
• 22 Healthy controls
• High calorie food images
• Non-food images
• Facial EMG • Increased corrugator activator for all groups > non food
Svaldi et al. 2010 [35] • 22 females with BED
• 22 female controls with BMI over 25
• Food images • HR and SCR • Decreased HR and SCR > non-food in those with BED
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