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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
National Institute of Health (grants R01DA038984, P20DA024196, KL2TR000113, K23MH112867, K23MH101342, and T32MH082761).
© 2021 The Author(s).
- binge eating
- nucleus accumbens
- resting state functional connectivity
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural