Do People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder See Differently To Other People? News Round-Up April 2012 3rd Edition

Professor Keith Laws and his colleagues have just published an interesting paper on Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) in the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is an illness in which a person’s view of their own body is distorted. They may think their nose is much bigger than it is for instance and will sometimes undergo cosmetic surgery to address these perceptions. The researchers recruited 12 people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder and 16 healthy controls. One explanatory hypothesis for BDD is that visual perception is altered including the possibility that perception of the whole face is altered. This hypothesis is outlined in a previous paper (freely available here). In this study the researchers found that people with BDD were significantly worse than controls at recognising fearful faces. They hypothesised that people with BDD would attribute their own critical perspective to others more readily increasing their threshold for recognising a face as fearful. The researchers also found that the BDD group were significantly better than at recognising upside-down celebrity faces. They hypothesised that people with BDD tend to focus on parts of the face rather than the whole. This approach would enable them to more quickly recognise familiar noses or mouths compared to people trying to understand the face as an (upside-down) whole. This tendency to focus on bits rather than the whole would also help to explain why people with BDD might appraise their appearances differently to other people. The researchers identify a number of factors that could have influenced the results and this is an interesting study which has generated clear hypotheses with clinical relevance and which can be further tested.

Researchers using the Open Access Imaging Data Series examined the MRI data from 196 people, 98 without Dementia and 98 with either very mild or mild Alzheimer’s Disease in this study. The researchers used the Clinical Dementia Rating scale and found that the Corpus Callosum was affected by the disease process but only at later stages when the CDR score was 0.5 or above.

Anatomist 90, Coronal Section showing the Corpus Callosum, Creative Commons 3.0 Share-Alike Unported License

In a case-series, the researchers in a North Indian hospital characterised 100 consecutive referrals to a Liaison Psychiatry service with Delirium. The most common presentations of Delirium were found to be inattention (consistent with the results of a previous study by Meagher and colleagues), disorientation, visuospatial impairment and sleep disturbances.

The researchers in a PLOS One paper undertook a principal components analysis of 39 scientific impact measures and concluded that the impact of a scientific paper is best described by multiple measures rather than a single impact factor.

The WHO has released an estimate that by 2050 the number of cases of Dementia will have tripled.


PubMed has a YouTube Channel which was started a few years ago. They have 63 videos at the time of writing and its well worth a look for those that use this resource regularly. One of the latest videos is shown below.

The Directory of Open Access Books has just started up.

Here’s a resource for Science News – Alpha Galileo

The top #100 most influential Cognitive science papers from the Cognitive Science Millenium Project


2008-2011 News Round-Up

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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