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Leehr, Elisabeth J.; Schag, Kathrin; Dresler, Thomas; Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz; Hautzinger, Martin; Fallgatter, Andreas J.; Zipfel, Stephan; Giel, Katrin E.; Ehlis, Ann-Christine (2018): Food specific inhibitory control under negative mood in binge-eating disorder: Evidence from a multimethod approach*. In: International Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol. 51, No. 2: pp. 112-123
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Objective: Inhibitory control has been discussed as a developmental and maintenance factor in binge-eating disorder (BED). The current study is the first aimed at investigating inhibitory control in a negative mood condition on a psychophysiological and behavioral level in BED with a combination of electroencephalography (EEG) and eye tracking (ET). MethodWe conducted a combined EEG and ET study with overweight individuals with BED (BED+, n=24, mean age=31, mean BMI=35 kg/m(2)) and without BED (BED-, n=23, mean age=28, mean BMI=35 kg/m(2)) and a normal-weight (NWC, n=26, mean age 28, mean BMI=22 kg/m(2)) control group. We assessed self-report data regarding impulsivity and emotion regulation as well as the processing of food stimuli under negative mood in an antisaccade task. Main outcome variables comprise event-related potentials (ERP) regarding conflict processing (N2) and performance monitoring (error-related negativity [ERN/Ne]) assessed by EEG and inhibitory control (errors in the first and second saccade) assessed by ET. Results: BED+ patients reported increased impulsivity and higher emotion regulation difficulties compared with the other groups. The eye tracking data revealed impaired inhibitory control in BED+ compared with both control groups. Further, we found preliminary evidence from EEG recordings that conflict processing might be less thorough in the BED+ sample as well as in the NWC sample. In the BED+ sample this might be connected to the inhibitory control deficits on behavioral level. While the BED- sample showed increased conflict processing latencies (N2 latencies), which might indicate a compensation mechanism, the BED+ sample did not show such a mechanism. Performance monitoring (ERN/Ne latencies and amplitudes) was not impaired in the BED+ sample compared with both control samples. Discussion: Participants with BED reported higher impulsivity and lower emotion regulation capacities. The combined investigation of electrocortical processes and behavior contributes to an advanced understanding of behavioral and electrocortical processes underlying inhibitory control in BED. Inhibitory control and negative mood, probably amplified by emotion regulation deficits, should be addressed further in the investigation and treatment of BED.