Resting State Hypoconnectivity of Reward Networks in Binge Eating Disorder

Ann F. Haynos, Jazmin Camchong, Carolyn M. Pearson, Jason M. Lavender, Bryon A. Mueller, Carol B. Peterson, Sheila Specker, Nancy Raymond, Kelvin O. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The clinical presentation of binge eating disorder (BED) and data emerging from task-based functional neuroimaging research suggests that this disorder may be associated with alterations in reward processing. However, there is a dearth of research investigating the functional organization of brain networks that mediate reward in BED. To address this gap, 27 adults with BED and 21 weight-matched healthy controls (WMC) completed a multimodel assessment consisting of a resting functional magnetic resonance imaging scan, behavioral tasks measuring reward-based decision-making (i.e., delay discounting and reversal learning), and self-report assessing clinical symptoms. A seed-based approach was employed to examine the resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the striatum (nucleus accumbens [NAcc] and ventral and dorsal caudate), a collection of regions implicated in reward processing. Compared with WMC, the BED group exhibited lower rsFC of striatal seeds, with frontal regions mediating executive functioning (e.g., superior frontal gyrus [SFG]) and posterior, parietal, and temporal regions implicated in emotional processing. Lower NAcc-SFG rsFC was associated with more difficulties with reversal learning and binge eating frequency in the BED group. Results suggest that hypoconnectivity of striatal networks that integrate self-regulation and reward processing may promote the clinical phenomenology of BED. Interventions for BED may benefit from targeting these circuit-based disturbances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2494-2504
Number of pages11
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 31 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
National Institute of Health (grants R01DA038984, P20DA024196, KL2TR000113, K23MH112867, K23MH101342, and T32MH082761).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s).


  • binge eating
  • caudate
  • nucleus accumbens
  • resting state functional connectivity
  • reward


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