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The Construct of Body Image: The Journey from Dysfunctional Circuits to Positive Body Image


Thursday, March 23, 2017: 3:45 PM-5:15 PM

Background: This presentation hopes to elucidate the current neural multidimensional models of body image distortion in eating disorders and will discuss new novel research investigating this symptom. A review of body image assessment and the discussion and utilization of positive body image interventions in clinical practice will be presented.

Objectives: 1. Following this presentation participants should understand modern neurobiological research explaining body image issues in eating disorders. 2. Following this presentation participants should understand how to evaluate different aspects of body image in eating disorders. 3. Following this presentation participants should understand how to evaluate and reinforce positive body image in clinical practice.

Scott E. Moseman, MD, CEDS I. The idea of body image across history

a. Changing ideals of body image

b. Disturbance of body image

c. History in pathology of eating disorders

II. The Neural basis of body image construct in humans

a. Proprioception, interoception and exteroception

b. The neural basis of visual body perception

c. Frontal-Parietal lobe circuits

d. Fusiform body area and extrastriate body area circuits

III. Challenges of studying the neurobiology of body image

a. Multidimensional model of eating disorders

b. Evaluating body image using functional imaging

c. Limitations of current studies

IV. Neural basis of multidimensional model of eating disorders

a. Anorexia Nervosa

i. Perceptive component

ii. Affective component

iii. Cognitive component

b. Bulimia Nervosa

i. Perceptive component

ii. Affective component

iii. Cognitive component

V. Pilot study of floatation effects on body image and anxiety in eating disorder patients

a. History of sensory deprivation and difference of floating

b. Concept of floating, anxiety and insular function.

c. Insular dysfunction in eating disorders and role in anxiety and body image

d. Pilot project in recovered eating disorder patients

i. Safety considerations

ii. Measured variables

iii. Results

iv. Next steps

Nichole Wood-Barcalow, PhD

 I. Overview of Body Image

a. Multidimensional construct

b. Individual and cultural differences

c. Body image assessments

II. Brief overview of negative body image

a. Diagnostic factors

b. Perceptional

c. Attitudinal/Affective

d. Cognitive/Behavioral

III. Positive Body Image

a. Definition and Importance

b. Research on Positive Body Image

i. Avalos et al. 2005

ii. Frisen and Holmqvist 2010

iii. Wood-Barcalow et al. 2010

c. Positive Body Image Assessments

i. Embodied Images Scale

ii. Body Appreciation Scale (BAS) – 2

d. How to Promote Positive Body Image in a clinical setting

i. Medical Professionals

ii. Dietitians

iii.  Psychotherapists

The extent of which the essential ideal of body image and how our comparison with those around us affects our emotions, self-esteem and guides our day-to-day behaviors is uniquely human. Throughout time there has been different definitions of a body ideal that has also varied across different countries and ethnicities, and it has long been a core measure of self-worth and at times even a reflection of one’s place in society. Since the inception of the diagnoses of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa the idea of body image disturbance and fearfulness of weight gain lie as one of the cardinal symptoms of both disorders. Understanding of how to define, assess, quantify and treat body image disturbance has advanced with the field over the last 30 years.

It is the goal of this presentation to present body image across a continuum from the neuronal basis of how we view are bodies, to disturbance of these circuits in eating disorders, continuing on to the proper evaluation and assessment of body image in clinical practice while focusing specifically on the idea of positive body image in working with eating disorder patients. Also, a novel pilot project, which involves the use of floatation to disconnect anxiety circuits from the body to the brain, will be explored as a possible elucidation and treatment of body image distortions.

During the presentation Dr. Moseman will utilize current neurological constructs of body image production and defects in circuitry that affects the perceptive, affective and cognitive constructs of body image pathology in anorexia and bulimia . Dr. Wood-Barcalow will then explore with didactic and experiential means an overview of body image in different populations, and will talk about evaluation of negative and positive body image factors. She will discuss how to utilize this information in a clinical setting with patients with eating disorders to increase positive body image. Finally Dr. Moseman will present results from a pilot study on the effects of floatation on body image and anxiety in eating disorder patients and provide insights to future directions of research on this important topic.

Primary Presenter:
Scott E. Moseman, MD, CEDS

Dr. Moseman attended medical school at Texas A&M University and completed adult residency at the University of Arizona. He went on to do a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic where he served as chief fellow. Since completing fellowship in 2004, he has worked at the Laureate Eating Disorders Program on both an inpatient and outpatient basis and is currently Medical Director of the eating disorders program. Dr. Moseman is also an investigator at the Laureate Institute of Brain Research where he participates in studies using functional imaging to investigate eating related illnesses.



Co-Presenter:
Nichole Wood-Barcalow, PhD

Dr. Wood-Barcalow received her BA, MA and PhD from The Ohio State University and completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Pittsburgh’s Counseling Center. She worked in the adolescent eating disorder program at Laureate Psychiatric Clinic & Hospital in Tulsa, OK. Dr. Wood-Barcalow is currently the Director of Outpatient Services at The Center for Balanced Living in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to clinical work, Dr. Wood-Barcalow serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for the Body Image Journal and has publications on the topic of positive body image.



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