Image Processing and its Role in BDD
US News have a report here on a small study of image processing in the maintenance of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a disorder characterised by morbid, distorted and obsessional thinking about aspects of our physical appearance. The study measured brain activity in a group of people living with BDD and compared the findings with a control group.
The researchers showed the two groups photographs of houses, some of the photographs were detailed, including individual roof slates and the like, others showed less detail. According to the study, the BDD group showed less brain activity than the control group when shown the less detailed pictures, suggesting that people with BDD process visual information differently.
Here’s a quote from the website:
“For the new study, Feusner and colleagues scanned the brains of 14 people with BDD and 14 healthy participants without the disorder (“controls”) as they looked at digital pictures of houses. Some of the photos included fine details while others were changed to show only general shapes. When looking at the less-detailed photos, less activity in the parts of the brain that process visual information was noted among BDD patients than among control participants. The authors noted that these findings were even more pronounced in more severe cases of BDD”.
“The study suggests that BDD patients have general abnormalities in visual processing,” Feusner explained in the news release. “But we haven’t yet determined whether abnormal visual processing contributes as a cause to developing BDD or is the effect of having BDD. So it’s the chicken-or-the-egg phenomenon.”
More information about the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behaviour at UCLA can be found here