Comparing Real-time fMRI Neurofeedback versus Sham for Altering Limbic and Eating Disturbances in Anorexia Nervosa


The goal of the purposed research is to extend our prior work (STUDY00003758: Real-time fMRI Neurofeedback to Alter Limbic Disturbances in Anorexia Nervosa) on real-time fMRI (rt-fMRI) neurofeedback (focused on amygdala down-regulation) as an innovative neurocircuitry-targeted intervention for anorexia nervosa (AN). This project will include randomization to rt-fMRI or a sham controlled group to answer the following important unresolved question: Does a patient-led procedure aimed at altering brain activity impact limbic circuit function and key eating disorder and psychiatric symptoms in AN above the effect of a matched, but non-targeted sham condition? There is an urgent need to develop novel interventions that can directly alter the key neurobiological mechanisms that promote AN. Individuals with AN will be randomly assigned to participate in rt-fMRI neurofeedback targeting down-regulation of either the amygdala or a sham condition in which they receive feedback non-contingently tied to their activation patterns (e.g., activation patterns from a prior participant) during exposure to aversive images.

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Chassidie Liu -
Ann Haynos