Now showing items 1-20 of 865

    • A Novel Approach for Autism Spectrum Condition patients with Eating Disorders: Analysis of Treatment Cost-savings

      Tchanturia, Kate; Dandil, Yasemin; Li, Zhuo; Smith, Katherine; Leslie, Monica; Byford, Sarah; King's College London; South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; Illia University
      Objective: In the current economic context, it is critical to ensure that eating disorder (ED) treatments are both effective and cost-effective. We describe the impact of a novel clinical pathway developed to better meet the needs of autistic patients with EDs on the length and cost of hospital admissions. Method: The pathway was based on the Institute for Healthcare’s Model of Improvement methodology, using an iterative Plan, Do, Study, Act format to introduce change and to co-produce the work with people with lived experience and with healthcare professionals. We explored the change in length and cost of admissions before and after the pathway was introduced. Results: Preliminary results suggest that the treatment innovations associated with this pathway have led to reduced lengths of admission for patients with the comorbidity, which were not seen for patients without the comorbidity. Estimated cost-savings were approximately £22,837 per patient and approximately £275,000 per year for the service as a whole. Conclusion: Going forward, our aim is to continue to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of investment in the pathway to determine whether the pathway improves the quality of care for patients with a comorbid ED and autism and is good value for money.
    • Exploring the impact, value and limitations of reflective practice groups for clergy in a Church in Wales diocese

      Gubi, Peter Madsen; University of Chester
      This research explores the impact, value and limitations of reflective practice groups for Clergy in a Church in Wales diocese. The aims were to explore what participants of reflective practice groups experience as the impact, value and limitations of their groups, and to better understand any implications for delivery of reflective practice groups for Clergy. Two focus groups comprising of the participants from two reflective practice groups from a diocese in the Church in Wales were interviewed, and the data analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Two superordinate themes emerged along with ten subordinate themes. The key findings are that the participants of both groups clearly found them to be a valuable experience and self-defined the impact on their ministries as: creating more reflective clergy; developing greater wisdom; building and gaining affirmed strategies that they could take back into relationships within their parishes; enabling a different perspective to be gained on management expectations; development of self-preservation strategies for coping with those expectations; improvement in practice and relationships within their work; improving their priestly skills; managing boundaries more appropriately; approaching meetings more positively; managing situations in more helpful ways; and discerning what God may be saying in certain situations.
    • Prologue: Language Challenges in the 21st Century

      Birney, Megan; Roessel, Janin; Hansen, Karolina; Rakic, Tamara; University of Lancaster
      As immigration and mobility increases, so do interactions between people from different linguistic backgrounds. Yet while linguistic diversity offers many benefits, it also comes with a number of challenges. In seven empirical articles and one commentary, this Special Issue addresses some of the most significant language challenges facing researchers in the 21st century: the power language has to form and perpetuate stereotypes, the contribution language makes to intersectional identities, and the role of language in shaping intergroup relations. By presenting work that aims to shed light on some of these issues, the goal of this Special Issue is to (a) highlight language as integral to social processes and (b) inspire researchers to address the challenges we face. To keep pace with the world’s constantly evolving linguistic landscape, it is essential that we make progress toward harnessing language’s power in ways that benefit 21st century globalized societies.
    • Where Are You From? An Investigation into the Intersectionality of Accent Strength and Nationality Status on Perceptions of Non-native Speakers in Britain

      Birney, Megan E.; Rabinovich, Anna; Morton, Thomas A.; University of Copenhagen
      We explore how interpersonal and intergroup perceptions are affected by a non-native speaker’s accent strength and the status of their home country. When nationality information was absent (Study 1), natives who heard a strong (vs. weak) accent rated the speaker as warmer but immigrants as a group as more threatening. This result was replicated when the speaker’s nationality was familiar (Study 2) but in this study, country status further shaped accent-based perceptions: the strong (vs. weak) accented speaker evoked more positive interpersonal perceptions when her country status was low, but more negative intergroup perceptions when her country status was high. When the status of the speaker’s nationality was manipulated (Study 3), we replicated the interpersonal perceptions found in Study 1 and the intergroup perceptions found in Study 2. Findings support a holistic approach to investigating perceptions of non-native speakers: one that considers nationality as well as accent strength.
    • Shifting Models of Energy Companies towards Green Economy in Europe

      Fernandez, Rosa M; University of Chester
      The traditional model of European energy company has been characterised by big entities that usually play a relatively important role as national champions in terms of market share, assets value, vertical integration, political influence and employment volumes, among other factors. However, last decade has seen how these big dinosaurs are losing market power in favour of new actors. On one side Russian and Chinese competitors have started showing interest in the Western European energy sector, and they are developing purchasing strategies to acquire part of the business in different countries, taking advantage of the vulnerable financial position that many of these companies suffer. On the other side having been unable to change their business models away from the focus on fossil fuels into the renewable energies sector has made traditional companies lose market share in favour of a new model of companies, smaller in terms of assets but quite focused on a market segment with a privileged institutional support, particularly thanks to the European Union targets for 2020 on renewable energy. This chapter uses the framework of green economy as the one that approaches macroeconomic issues through innovative ways, promoting green investments through the most adequate regulatory measures, and considering green energy as one of the sectors where these investments should be focused. Bearing this in mind, the chapter will try to point out the existing constraints to reach the new model of development (sustainable development, as promoted by a green economy) and also the barriers that energy companies impose themselves through old fashioned strategies that do not take into consideration the wider demands from a much larger group of stakeholders in a changing society. It will also address the changing governance framework caused by recent political events such as Brexit and the shifting EU institutional discourse towards 2030 targets.
    • Should you be using mobile technologies in teaching? Applying a pedagogical framework

      France, Derek; orcid: 0000-0001-6874-6800; Lee, Rebecca; Maclachlan, John; McPhee, Siobhán R (Informa UK Limited, 2020-06-10)
    • Trade Barriers

      Fernandez, Rosa M.; University of Chester (Springer Nature, 2020-09-30)
      A basic definition of trade barriers could be ‘all factors that influence the amount of goods and services shipped across international borders’ (Feenstra and Taylor, 2017a). This definition is quite neutral, and it needs to be understood that the word ‘barrier’ has a negative connotation, which means that a trade barrier would be any instrument that limits or restrict trade between countries, as opposed to free trade. It is generally accepted that free trade is good for productivity and economic growth, but it is also true that most countries apply some sort of trade restriction, for different reasons.
    • Factors that may continue to impact a mother’s emotional wellbeing once her child’s treatment for cancer has completed and their implications for ongoing support

      Hill, Lynda; Gubi, Peter Madsen; University of Chester; The Joshua Tree Foundation
      This research explores factors that may continue to impact a mother’s emotional wellbeing once her child’s treatment for cancer has completed. Research indicates that, contrary to a general expectation of experiencing joy as treatment ends, some families experience very mixed emotions, with fear playing a large part, both leading up to treatment completion and, for some, continuing post-treatment. However, there is no literature that explores a mother’s emotional wellbeing after a number of years’ post-treatment. This research is a contribution towards addressing that deficit. Five mothers were interviewed using semi-structured questions to gather data relating to their specific lived experiences. These were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results indicate that although end of treatment was longed for, there continues to be much uncertainty and fear post-treatment, and this can continue years after treatment has ended. Mothers described changes within themselves (e.g. new attitudes to living) and a need to adapt to a ‘new normal’. There were elements of grief for the loss of family life with which they were once so familiar. There was also a strong sense of wanting to support others, so that their own experiences weren’t wasted. All participants recognised that further counselling support for themselves would be beneficial.
    • An exploration of the tensions experienced by bisexual men in long-term, monogamous, mixed-orientation relationships, whose bisexuality is known to their partners: Implications for counselling

      Gubi, Peter; Neath, Michael (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-10)
      This research explores the tensions encountered by bisexual men who are in a long-term monogamous relationship with someone who does not identify as bisexual, in the circumstance of their bisexuality being known to their partner. It was anticipated that tensions and partner anxieties would arise from preconceptions of bisexual men, as described in the literature. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six bisexual men. The interview transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The analysis uncovered three main themes: formative experiences; fear and longing; and the relationship. Within these themes, the participants revealed how formative experiences have left them aware that a part of them which they experience as fundamental may be met with rejection, stigma, denial, incomprehension, and misconceptions. The second theme revealed how the tension between the desire to be known and live authentically on the one hand, and the desire to be safe from rejection and stigma on the other, creates situations of living with partial disclosure, vigilance and caution, and inauthenticity. In the third theme, romantic relationships were shown to bring opportunities for being known and accepted; the possibility of rejection; further restrictions to living authentically; and the onus of answering to partner anxieties. Additionally, an incongruence was observed between participants’ averred feelings about their relationships and implicit feelings about the terms of their acceptance. The implications of the findings for counselling are considered from a person-centred perspective.
    • Initial validation of the general attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence Scale

      Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester
      A new General Attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence Scale (GAAIS) was developed. The scale underwent initial statistical validation via Exploratory Factor Analysis, which identified positive and negative subscales. Both subscales captured emotions in line with their valence. In addition, the positive subscale reflected societal and personal utility, whereas the negative subscale reflected concerns. The scale showed good psychometric indices and convergent and discriminant validity against existing measures. To cross-validate general attitudes with attitudes towards specific instances of AI applications, summaries of tasks accomplished by specific applications of Artificial Intelligence were sourced from newspaper articles. These were rated for comfortableness and perceived capability. Comfortableness with specific applications was a strong predictor of general attitudes as measured by the GAAIS, but perceived capability was a weaker predictor. Participants viewed AI applications involving big data (e.g. astronomy, law, pharmacology) positively, but viewed applications for tasks involving human judgement, (e.g. medical treatment, psychological counselling) negatively. Applications with a strong ethical dimension led to stronger discomfort than their rated capabilities would predict. The survey data suggested that people held mixed views of AI. The initially validated two-factor GAAIS to measure General Attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence is included in the Appendix.
    • Welsh Primary Schoolchildren’s Perceptions of Electronic Cigarettes: A Mixed Methods Study

      Porcellato, Lorna; Ross-Houle, Kim; Quigg, Zara; Harris, Jane; Bigland, Charlotte; Bates, Rebecca; Timpson, Hannah; Gee, Ivan; Bishop, Julie; Gould, Ashley; et al.
      There are concerns that the growing popularity of e-cigarettes promotes experimentation among children. Given the influence of the early years on attitude and habit formation, better understanding of how younger children perceive vaping before experimentation begins is needed, to prevent uptake and inform tobacco control strategies. We explored Welsh primary schoolchildren’s (aged 7–11) awareness of e-cigarettes relative to tobacco smoking, their understanding of the perceived risks and benefits and their intentions and beliefs about vaping. Data was collected using a mix of methods in June and July 2017 from 8 purposively selected primary schools across Wales. Four hundred and ninety-five children (52% female) aged 7 years (n = 165), 9 years (n = 185) and 11 years (n = 145) completed a class-administered booklet encompassing a draw and write exercise and survey. Ninety-six children participated in 24 peer discussion groups comprised of 2 boys and 2 girls from each year group. Data were analysed independently and findings triangulated. Survey analyses used frequencies, descriptive statistics and chi-squared tests. Content analysis was undertaken on the draw and write data and peer discussion groups were analysed thematically. Study findings highlight that primary schoolchildren have general awareness of e-cigarettes. Vaping was perceived to be healthier than smoking and there was some recognition that e-cigarettes were used for smoking cessation. Understanding of any health harms was limited. Few children intended to smoke or vape in the future but almost half thought it was okay for grownups. Children’s perceptions were influenced by exposure through family and friends. Findings suggest a need for e-cigarette education in primary schools, to highlight the associated risks of e-cigarette experimentation including the potential for tobacco initiation.
    • There is no Other Monkey in the Mirror for Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)

      Murray, Lindsay; Schaffner, Colleen; Aureli, Filippo; Amici, Federica; University of Chester, Adams State University, Universidad Veracruzana, Liverpool John Moores University, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (American Psychological Association, 2020-06-18)
      Mirror self-recognition (MSR), usually considered a marker of self-awareness, occurs in several species and may reflect a capacity that has evolved in small incremental steps. In line with research on human development and building on previous research adopting a gradualist framework, we categorized the initial mirror responses of naïve spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) according to four levels. We compared social, exploratory, contingent and self-exploratory responses to a mirror and faux mirror during three short trials. If spider monkeys respond as most monkey species, we predicted they would perform at level 0, mainly showing social behavior toward their mirror-image. However, because spider monkeys show enhancement of certain cognitive skills comparable to those of great ape species, we predicted that they would perform at level 1a (showing exploratory behavior) or 1b (showing contingent behavior). GLMMs revealed that monkeys looked behind and visually inspected the mirror significantly more in the mirror than the faux mirror condition. Although the monkeys engaged in contingent body movements at the mirror, this trend was not significant. Strikingly, they showed no social behaviors toward their mirror-image. We also measured self-scratching as an indicator of anxiety and found no differences in frequencies of self-scratching between conditions. Therefore, in contrast to most findings on other species, spider monkeys did not treat their image as another monkey during their initial exposure to the mirror. In fact, they reached at least level 1a within minutes of mirror exposure. These responses recommend spider monkeys as good candidates for further explorations into monkey self-recognition.
    • Eating Disorders Impact on Vigilance and Decision Making of a Community Sample of Treatment Naive Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Young Adults

      Nazar, Bruno Palazzo; Trindade, Amanda Pompeu; Leslie, Monica; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro Fernandes; Sergeant, Joseph; Treasure, Janet; Mattos, Paulo; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; King's College London; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais; University Amsterdam; D'Or Institute for Education and Research
      Although impulsivity is suggested as a possible link to explain the association of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with an Eating Disorder (ED), there is little research on how clinical and cognitive/neuropsychological functioning might change when this comorbidity occurs. ADHD individuals are at a higher of developing ED and also obesity. Some research has described the impact of ADHD in clinical treatment-seeking samples of ED patients. Consequently, we investigated how ED impacted on clinical and cognitive variables of a community sample of treatment-naive ADHD individuals. Ninety college students arranged in three groups (ADHD+ED, ADHD only and Controls) were analyzed using semi-structured interviews for ADHD (K-SADS), the Iowa Gambling Task, the Conner's Continuous Performance Test, Digit and Visual span, as well as rating scales for anxiety (STAI), depression (BDI) and impulsivity (BIS-11), and binge eating (BES). We found that ADHD+ED individuals significantly differed from both groups, presenting with a higher body mass index; more hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms; higher binge eating scores; more omission errors on the Continuous Performance Test; disadvantageous choices on the Iowa Gambling Task. Also, we demonstrated through a moderation/mediation analysis that a greater level of binge eating mediated the increases in body mass index on our sample. There were no significant paths to explain binge-eating severity through changes on any of the neuropsychological tests used. The presence of an ED in normal weight in a community sample of ADHD individuals is associated with higher body mass index and a worse cognitive functioning.
    • Investigating resting brain perfusion abnormalities and disease target-engagement by intranasal oxytocin in women with bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder and healthy controls

      Martins, Daniel; Leslie, Monica; Rodan, Sarah; Zelaya, Fernando; Treasure, Janet; Paloyelis, Yannis; King's College London; University College London
      Advances in the treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder (BN/BED) have been marred by our limited understanding of the underpinning neurobiology. Here we measured regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) to map resting perfusion abnormalities in women with BN/BED compared to healthy controls and investigate if intranasal oxytocin (OT), proposed as a potential treatment, can restore perfusion in disorder-related brain circuits. Twenty-four women with BN/BED and 23 healthy women participated in a randomised, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled study. We used arterial spin labelling MRI to measure rCBF and the effects of an acute dose of intranasal OT (40IU) or placebo over 18-26 minutes post-dosing, as we have previously shown robust OT-induced changes in resting rCBF in men in a similar time-window (15-36 min post-dosing). We tested for effects of treatment, diagnosis and their interaction on extracted rCBF values in anatomical regions-of-interest previously implicated in BN/BED by other neuroimaging modalities, and conducted exploratory whole-brain analyses to investigate previously unidentified brain regions. We demonstrated that women with BN/BED presented increased resting rCBF in the medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices, anterior cingulate gyrus, posterior insula and middle/inferior temporal gyri bilaterally. Hyperperfusion in these areas specifically correlated with eating symptoms severity in patients. Our data did not support a normalizing effect of intranasal OT on perfusion abnormalities in these patients, at least for the specific dose (40 IU) and post-dosing interval (18-26 minutes) examined. Our findings enhance our understanding of resting brain abnormalities in BN/BED and identify resting rCBF as a non-invasive potential biomarker for disease-related changes and treatment monitoring. They also highlight the need for a comprehensive investigation of intranasal OT pharmacodynamics in women before we can fully ascertain its therapeutic value in disorders affecting predominantly this gender, such as BN/BED.
    • Effects of intranasal oxytocin on the attentional bias to emotional stimuli in patients with bulimia nervosa

      Kim, Youl-Ri; Eom, Jin-Sup; Leppanen, Jenni; Leslie, Monica; Treasure, Janet; Inje University; Chungbuk National University; King's College London
      Background: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by binge eating and emotional dysregulation including increased negative affectivity (anger, anxiety). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of oxytocin on attentional processes towards anger in patients with BN. Method: The study design consisted of a double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject crossover, single dose experiment. Sixty-four women (31 patients with BN and 33 healthy comparisons) completed self-reported measures to evaluate emotional difficulties and were administered a single dose of intranasal oxytocin (40IU) or placebo followed by a visual probe detection task to examine attentional orienting to angry or happy faces. Results: Patients with BN reported higher emotional dysregulation and more difficulties in controlling anger compared to the healthy comparison group. Patients with BN and the healthy women exhibited similar attentional bias to angry faces in the placebo condition. Intranasal oxytocin reduced the attentional bias towards angry faces in both the BN patients and the healthy women. Conclusions: We found that a single dose of oxytocin reduced vigilance towards angry faces in patients with BN as well as healthy women. The results showed that patients with BN are not different from healthy women in terms of vigilance towards threat.
    • Registered Replication Report: Schooler and Engstler-Schooler (1990)

      Alogna, V. K., Attaya, M. K., Aucoin, P., Bahník, Š., Birch, S., Birt, A. R., Bornstein, B. H., Bouwmeester, S., Brandimonte, M. A., Brown, C., Buswell, K., Carlson, C., Carlson, M., Chu, S., Cislak, A., Colarusso, M., Colloff, M. F., Dellapaolera, K. S., Delvenne, J.-F., Di Domenico, A., Drummond, A., Echterhoff, G., Edlund, J. E., Eggleston, C. M., Fairfield, B., Franco, G., Gabbert, F., Gamblin, B. W., Garry, M., Gentry, R., Gilbert, E. A., Greenberg, D. L., Halberstadt, J., Hall, L., Hancock, P. J. B., Hirsch, D., Holt, G., Jackson, J. C., Jong, J., Kehn, A., Koch, C., Kopietz, R., Körner, U., Kunar, M. A., Lai, C. K., Langton, S. R. H., Leite, F. P., Mammarella, N., Marsh, J. E., McConnaughy, K. A., McCoy, S., McIntyre, A. H., Meissner, C. A., Michael, R. B., Mitchell, A. A., Mugayar-Baldocchi, M., Musselman, R., Ng, C., Nichols, A. L., Nunez, N. L., Palmer, M. A., Pappagianopoulos, J. E., Petro, M. S., Poirier, C. R., Portch, E., Rainsford, M., Rancourt, A., Romig, C., Rubínová, E., Sanson, M., Satchell, L., Sauer, J. D., Schweitzer, K., Shaheed, J., Skelton, F., Sullivan, G. A., Susa, K. J., Swanner, J. K., Thompson, W. B., Todaro, R., Ulatowska, J., Valentine, T., Verkoeijen, P. P. J. L., Vranka, M., Wade, K. A., Was, C. A., Weatherford, D., Wiseman, K., Zaksaite, T., Zuj, D. V., Zwaan, R. A. (SAGE Publications, 2014-09-17)
      Trying to remember something now typically improves your ability to remember it later. However, after watching a video of a simulated bank robbery, participants who verbally described the robber were 25% worse at identifying the robber in a lineup than were participants who instead listed U.S. states and capitals—this has been termed the “verbal overshadowing” effect (Schooler & Engstler-Schooler, 1990). More recent studies suggested that this effect might be substantially smaller than first reported. Given uncertainty about the effect size, the influence of this finding in the memory literature, and its practical importance for police procedures, we conducted two collections of preregistered direct replications (RRR1 and RRR2) that differed only in the order of the description task and a filler task. In RRR1, when the description task immediately followed the robbery, participants who provided a description were 4% less likely to select the robber than were those in the control condition. In RRR2, when the description was delayed by 20 min, they were 16% less likely to select the robber. These findings reveal a robust verbal overshadowing effect that is strongly influenced by the relative timing of the tasks. The discussion considers further implications of these replications for our understanding of verbal overshadowing.
    • Using historical source data to understand urban flood risk: a socio-hydrological modelling application at Gregorio Creek, Brazil

      Ana Carolina, Sarmento Buarque; Bhattacharya-Mis, Namrata; Fava, Maria Clara; Souza, Felipe Augusto Arguello de; Mendiondo, Eduardo Mario; University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil; University of Chester
      The city of São Carlos, state of São Paulo, Brazil, has a historical coexistence between society and floods. Unplanned urbanization in this area is a representative feature of how Brazilian cities have developed, undermining the impact of natural hazards. The Gregório Creek catchment is an enigma of complex dynamics concerning the relationship between humans and water in Brazilian cities. Our hypothesis is that social memory of floods can improve future resilience. In this paper we analyse flood risk dynamics in a small urban catchment, identify the impacts of social memory on building resilience and propose measures to reduce the risk of floods. We applied a socio-hydrological model using data collected from newspapers from 1940 to 2018. The model was able to elucidate human–water processes in the catchment and the historical source data proved to be a useful tool to fill gaps in the data in small urban basins.
    • The use of a positive mood induction video-clip to target eating behaviour in people with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder: An experimental study

      Cardi, Valentina; Leppanen, Jenni; Leslie, Monica; Esposito, Mirko; Treasure, Janet; King's College London; University College London
      Recent theoretical models and empirical research have indicated that momentary negative affect increases the likelihood of binge eating episodes for individuals with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. However, relatively little research has explored the potential for positive mood to serve a protective effect in reducing the likelihood of overeating behaviour in bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. The current study included 30 women with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder in a within-subjects crossover design. Following exposure to a video designed to induce food craving, we found that a positive mood vodcast was associated with significantly lower levels of negative mood and food consumption in a taste test meal, when compared to a neutral vodcast (p = .002). These findings support a role for decreasing negative mood in reducing the likelihood of binge eating behaviour in women with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
    • A Pilot Study Investigating the Influence of Oxytocin on Attentional Bias to Food Images in Women with Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder

      Leslie, Monica; Leppanen, Jenni; Paloyelis, Yannis; Treasure, Janet; King's College London
      Background: Previous research has found that exogenous oxytocin administration has the potential to modulate attentional biases in women with anorexia nervosa. Recent work has indicated that attentional biases to food may reinforce the recurrent binge eating behaviour which characterises bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. To date, however, no study has yet investigated the effect of oxytocin on attentional biases to palatable food in women with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Methods: This study employed a single-session crossover design to test the hypothesis that a divided dose of 64IU intranasal oxytocin, administered as one intranasal dose of 40IU oxytocin followed by a top-up of 24IU oxytocin 80 minutes later, versus placebo administration administered in the same dosing schedule, would reduce attentional biases towards food images in a dot probe task. We hypothesised that oxytocin administration would reduce vigilance towards food to a greater degree in women with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, versus healthy comparison women. Twenty-five women with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder and 27 comparison women without history of an eating disorder were recruited to take part in the study. Results: Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no main effect of diagnosis on attentional bias to food (fixed effect = 5.70, p = .363), nor a significant interaction between diagnosis and drug condition (fixed effect = -14.80, p = .645). There was a main effect of drug condition, such that oxytocin increased vigilance towards food, versus neutral, images in the dot probe task (fixed effect = 10.42, p = .044). A correlation analysis revealed that this effect was moderated by attentional bias in the placebo condition, such that greater avoidance of food stimuli in the placebo condition was associated with a greater increase in vigilance induced by oxytocin. Conclusion: The current findings add to a mixed body of literature investigating the therapeutic effects of oxytocin in women. Future research would benefit from dose-response studies investigating the optimal dose of oxytocin for modulating the attentional processing of palatable food in populations with eating disorders.
    • The Influence of Oxytocin on Risk-Taking in the Balloon Analogue Risk Task Among Women with Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder

      Leslie, Monica; Leppanen, Jenni; Paloyelis, Yannis; Nazar, Bruno; Treasure, Janet; King's College London; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
      Previous theoretical models of bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) have implicated cross-domain risk-taking behaviour as a significant maintenance factor in both disorders. The current study sought to test this hypothesis by administering the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) to 25 women with BN or BED and 27 healthy comparison women without history of an eating disorder. Furthermore, we tested the effect of a divided dose of 64IU oxytocin on risk-taking behaviour in the BART. Contrary to our hypothesis, women with BN or BED did not exhibit baseline differences in performance on the BART in the placebo condition (t = 1.42, df = 50, p = .161, d = 0.39). Oxytocin did not have a main effect on performance in the BART (F = 0.01, df = 1, p = .907, η2partial < .001); however, there was an interaction such that participants in the BN/BED participant group, compared to the healthy comparison group, demonstrated safer behaviour on the BART specifically in the oxytocin condition, but not in the placebo condition (F = 4.29, df = 1, p = .044, η2partial = .082). These findings cast doubt on the common assumption that individuals with BN and BED exhibit greater risk-taking behaviour in all domains and add to evidence that oxytocin plays a functional role in modulating behaviours which entail trade-offs between reward approach and risk in humans. We recommend that future dose-response studies further investigate the effect of oxytocin on reward approach behaviour in women with recurrent binge eating behaviour and the clinical significance of this effect.