Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Eating and weight disorders : EWD

PURPOSE : As a maladaptive disordered eating behavior, binge eating (BE) onset has been reported in children as young as eight years old and is linked with a range of negative psychological consequences. However, previous neuroimaging research of BE has mainly focused on adults in clinical conditions, and little is known about the potential neurostructural and neurofunctional bases of BE in healthy children.

METHODS : In this study, we examined these issues in 76 primary school students (mean age = 9.86 years) using voxel-based morphometry and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) approaches.

RESULTS : After controlling for age, sex, and total intracranial volume/head motion, we observed that higher levels of BE were correlated with greater gray matter volumes (GMV) in the left fusiform and right insula and weaker rsFC between the right insula and following three regions: right orbital frontal cortex, left cingulate gyrus, and left superior frontal gyrus. No significant associations were observed between BE and regional white matter volume. Significant sex differences were found only in the relationship between BE and GMV in the left fusiform. Furthermore, the GMV- and rsFC-based predictive models (a machine-learning method) achieved significant correlations between the actual and predicted BE values, demonstrating the robustness of our findings.

CONCLUSION : The present study provides novel evidence for the brain structural and functional substrates of children's BE, and further reveals that the weakened communication between core regions associated with negative affectivity, reward responsivity, and executive function is strongly related to dysregulated eating.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE : Level V, descriptive study.

Chen Ximei, Li Wei, Qin Jingmin, Gao Xiao, Liu Yong, Song Shiqing, Huang Yufei, Chen Hong


Binge eating, Insula, Resting-state functional connectivity, School-aged children, Voxel-based morphometry