Body processing has been associated functionally to the so called extrastriate body area (EBA) which is located in the lateral occipital cortex. As body image disturbance is one of the main diagnostic criteria in anorexia nervosa (AN) this study aimed at looking for alterations in gray matter density in women with (AN) especially in the EBA. High resolution T1 images from 15 women with AN and 15 age matched healthy controls women were contrasted using voxel based morphometry (VBM). Additionally functional localizer scans were used to determine functionally the EBA of each participant. In general, total gray matter volumes did differ between groups. VBM results yielded evidence for a reduction of gray matter density in the left EBA. This reduction, which resulted from whole brain analysis, was localised within the activation cluster of the EBA localizer scan. The current results provide for the first time evidence for structural alterations in the EBA in patients with AN which might suggest that body image distortion is related at least in part to structural alteration in the EBA.
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