Superior face recognition in Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Introduction: Individuals with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) may have a propensity for viewing faces differently from healthy controls. In an attempt to explore these processing changes in more detail, we investigate face processing in BDD using two facial recognition tasks; one testing the recognition of facial characteristics, the other testing the recognition of facial expressions of emotion. Method: Participants with BDD (n=12) and healthy controls (n=16) were tested for inverted face recognition using the Famous Faces Task (FFT) and the Facial Expression of Emotions Stimulus and Test emotion recognition task (FEEST). The groups were matched for age, IQ and education. Results: Participants with BDD showed a significant ability to correctly recognise inverted famous faces compared to well-matched controls. In contrast, participants with BDD showed a specific deficit in recognising fearful facial emotions. BDD participants excel over controls at performing the FFT. Conclusions: These findings may represent a cognitive marker for BOO. The specific deficit within the BDD group for recognising fearful expressions may be another feature of the disorder and may implicate abnormal processing of negatively valenced emotional material. The specificity of these findings for BOO merit further investigation using other clinical groups and a larger sample size. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.