Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a disorder characterized by alterations in body perception. Recent literature suggested that AN can also impair the processing of stimuli from inside the body (i.e., interoceptive) however, very few studies performed a complete interoceptive assessment exploring the evolution of the interoceptive dimensions before and after the subject's recovery. To address this gap in knowledge, this study presented the case of Diana, a 25 years old woman affected by AN. At hospital admission, Diana performed a complete interoceptive assessment for accuracy (IAc), metacognitive awareness (IAw), sensibility (IAs), and interoceptive buffer saturation (IBs) - a new index that behaviourally evaluated the amount of interoceptive processing. Measures were repeated at the end of an outpatients rehabilitative hospital program, after Diana's recovery. Results were confronted with a control (N = 4) of healthy female subjects. Analyses indicated severe deficits in accuracy, buffer saturation, and sensibility compared to control group. Conversely, metacognitive awareness was pathologically enhanced. After the rehabilitative hospital program, Diana's clinical condition was largely improved and this reflected back on the interoceptive patterns that appeared restored, with no difference in interoceptive accuracy and metacognition compared to the control group. In conclusion, results indicated a very specific dissociation between interoceptive axes in AN with pervasive deficits in perception and processing that were accompanied by a pathologically enhanced confidence in the wrong perceptions. This case study reported an interesting and unique clinical pattern with a severe dissociation between interoceptive perceptions that nonetheless appeared restored after the subject's recovery, highlighting the role of interoceptive assessment in the clinical evolution of AN.
|Rivista||Frontiers in Psychology|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2019|
- Anorexia nervosa Body perception Interoception Interoceptive deficit Multisensory integration