Research Studies

Currently active studies by Jamie Feusner, M.D., research consultant at the Los Angeles BDD & Body Image Clinic:

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Anorexia Nervosa Study

Principal Investigator: Jamie Feusner, M.D. 

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and anorexia nervosa are severe psychiatric illnesses involving misperception of appearance. While there are several differences and these are treated as distinct disorders, they have many similarities including obsessive scrutiny of appearance features, possible perceptual distortions, and anxiety. Could there be a biological link between BDD and anorexia nervosa? In this study we are using a type of brain scan called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to compare patterns of brain activity in individuals with BDD to those with anorexia and healthy controls while processing visual and emotional information. This is the first study to directly compare and contrast the patterns of abnormal brain activity in people with BDD to those with anorexia nervosa.

Participation in the study involves three visits:

  1. In the first visit the participant will meet with Dr. Feusner to determine if he/she has BDD or anorexia nervosa. This visit will also include paper-and-pencil rating scales and a brief computer task.
  2. The second visit will be the actual brain scan, during which participants will view photographs of faces, bodies, and objects.
  3. The third visit will be for an EEG (electroencephalography) of the brain to understand brain wave patterns associated with visual processing of faces, bodies, and objects.

Participants will receive a free brain scan, EEG, parking, and will be compensated for their time.

If you believe you have BDD or have anorexia nervosa (but are currently at a close-to-normal body weight) and are interested in participating in the study please call (310) 206-0468 or email Courtney Sheen at