The brains of the healthy women showed heightened responses to winning and
losing, while the women with a history of anorexia showed little difference
between winning or losing. Dr. Angela Wagner said of the results, "For
anorexics, then, perhaps it is difficult to appreciate immediate pleasure if it
does not feel much different from a negative experience."
The results of this study, published in the December issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, suggest that the women with a history of anorexia were more focused on the consequences of their choices during the guessing game.
In another report about the study, the BBC News suggests that this may give us more insight in how anorexics are able to deny themselves the reward of food.
Anorexia has always been associated with a distorted body image - anorexics usually see themselves as fat, even when they are grossly underweight. Research such as this study could be very helpful in determining if there are specific causes and in finding successful treatment protocols.