Altered brain response to reward and punishment in adolescents with Anorexia nervosa

Amanda Bischoff-Grethe, Danyale McCurdy, Emily Grenesko-Stevens, Laura E. (Zoe) Irvine, Angela Wagner, Wai Ying Wendy Yau, Christine Fennema-Notestine, Christina E. Wierenga, Julie L. Fudge, Mauricio R. Delgado, Walter H. Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Adults recovered from Anorexia nervosa (AN) have altered reward modulation within striatal limbic regions associated with the emotional significance of stimuli, and executive regions concerned with planning and consequences. We hypothesized that adolescents with AN would show similar disturbed reward modulation within the striatum and the anterior cingulate cortex, a region connected to the striatum and involved in reward-guided action selection. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, twenty-two adolescent females (10 restricting-type AN, 12 healthy volunteers) performed a monetary guessing task. Time series data associated with monetary wins and losses within striatal and cingulate regions of interest were subjected to a linear mixed effects analysis. All participants responded more strongly to wins versus losses in limbic and anterior executive striatal territories. However, AN participants exhibited an exaggerated response to losses compared to wins in posterior executive and sensorimotor striatal regions, suggesting altered function in circuitry responsible for coding the affective context of stimuli and action selection based upon these valuations. As AN individuals are particularly sensitive to criticism, failure, and making mistakes, these findings may reflect the neural processes responsible for a bias in those with AN to exaggerate negative consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-340
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 30 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Cingulate
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Reward
  • Striatum


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