Preference for safe over risky options in binge eating

Neveu, R., Fouragnan, E., Barsumian, F., Carrier, E., Lai, M., Nicolas, A., Neveu, D. and Coricelli, G. (2016) Preference for safe over risky options in binge eating. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 10, (doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00065) (PMID:27065829) (PMCID:PMC4815053)

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Binge eating has been usually viewed as a loss of control and an impulsive behavior. But, little is known about the actual behavior of binging patients (prevalently women) in terms of basic decision-making under risk or under uncertainty. In healthy women, stressful cues bias behavior for safer options, raising the question of whether food cues that are perceived as threatening by binging patients may modulate patients’ behaviors towards safer options. A cross-sectional study was conducted with binging patients (20 bulimia nervosa (BN) and 23 anorexia nervosa binging (ANB) patients) and two control groups (22 non-binging restrictive (ANR) anorexia nervosa patients and 20 healthy participants), without any concomitant impulsive disorder. We assessed decisions under risk with a gambling task with known probabilities and decisions under uncertainty with the balloon analog risk taking task (BART) with unknown probabilities of winning, in three cued-conditions including neutral, binge food and stressful cues. In the gambling task, binging and ANR patients adopted similar safer attitudes and coherently elicited a higher aversion to losses when primed by food as compared to neutral cues. This held true for BN and ANR patients in the BART. After controlling for anxiety level, these safer attitudes in the food condition were similar to the ones under stress. In the BART, ANB patients exhibited a higher variability in their choices in the food compared to neutral condition. This higher variability was associated with higher difficulties to discard irrelevant information. All these results suggest that decision-making under risk and under uncertainty is not fundamentally altered in all these patients.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was financially supported by theEuropean Research Council (ERC Consolidator Grant 617629) grant, Praxis and CNRS.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fouragnan, Dr Elsa
Authors: Neveu, R., Fouragnan, E., Barsumian, F., Carrier, E., Lai, M., Nicolas, A., Neveu, D., and Coricelli, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN (Online):1662-5153
Published Online:01 January 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Neveu, Fouragnan, Barsumian, Carrier, Lai, Nicolas, Neveu and Coricelli.
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a creative commons license

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