Self-Control in Bulimia Nervosa

  • End date
    Jul 31, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Updated on 26 June 2021
bulimia nervosa


This study examines the influence of acute fasting and eating on self-control in adult females with and without bulimia nervosa (BN). Specifically, the study team is investigating whether differences in behavior and brain activation in response to computer tasks after fasting and after eating a meal could help to explain the symptoms of bulimia nervosa. Data will be collected using questionnaires and a technology called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


Treatment-resistant binge eating and purging may be perpetuated by self-control deficits linked to reduced activation in frontostriatal circuits. To date, however, neurocognitive studies of BN have not assessed the dynamic computational processes underlying inhibition or considered the fact that individuals with BN oscillate between two extremes-under-controlled and over-controlled intake. The proposed study combines neuroimaging with computational modeling to investigate the influences of acute fasting and eating (i.e., metabolic states) on how the brains of women with bulimia nervosa (BN) adaptively prepare for and exert inhibitory control. More specifically, the study has the following main objectives: 1) To determine whether eating and fasting affect adaptive inhibitory control and related frontostriatal activation abnormally in BN; 2) To identify associations of BN severity with state-specific frontostriatal activation and behavior.

Condition Bulimia, Bulimia Nervosa
Treatment magnetic resonance imaging, Fed State, fasting state, fasting state
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04409457
SponsorIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Last Modified on26 June 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Aged 18 to 35 years
Currently between 85 and 120% of the expected weight for height
Additional Inclusion Criteria for Women with Bulimia Nervosa
Meet DSM-5 criteria for bulimia nervosa

Exclusion Criteria

Medical instability
Ongoing medical treatment, medical condition, or psychiatric disorder that may interfere with study variables or participation
Shift work
Pregnancy, planned pregnancy, or lactation during the study period
Allergy to any of the ingredients in or unwillingness to consume the standardized meal or unwillingness to drink water during the fasting period
Any contraindication for fMRI
Clear my responses

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