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Effects of visual attention modulation on dynamic functional connectivity during own-face viewing in body dysmorphic disorder

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  • Wan wa Wong, University of California at Los Angeles
  • ,
  • Joana Cabral
  • Riddhi Rane, University of California at Los Angeles
  • ,
  • Ronald Ly, University of California at Los Angeles
  • ,
  • Morten L. Kringelbach
  • Jamie D. Feusner, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Toronto

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by preoccupations with misperceptions of one’s physical appearance. Previous neuroimaging studies in BDD have yet to examine dynamic functional connectivity (FC) patterns between brain areas, necessary to capture changes in activity in response to stimuli and task conditions. We used Leading Eigenvector Dynamics Analysis to examine whole-brain dynamic FC from fMRI data during an own-face viewing task in 29 unmedicated adults with BDD with facial concerns and 30 healthy controls. The task involved two parts: (1) unconstrained, naturalistic viewing and (2) holding visual attention in the center of the image, to reduce scanning and fixation on perceived facial flaws. An FC state consisting of bilateral medial orbitofrontal cortex regions occurred significantly less often during the visual attention condition and afterward during the unconstrained face viewing in BDD participants, compared to the first unconstrained face viewing, a pattern that differed from controls. Moreover, the probability of this state during the second unconstrained face viewing was associated with severity of obsessions and compulsions and degree of poor insight in BDD, suggesting its clinical significance. These findings have implications for understanding the pathophysiology of own-face viewing in BDD and how it is affected by modification of viewing patterns, which may have implications for novel perceptual retraining treatment designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2030-2038
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

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