The study “Facial Emotion Recognition Abilities in Women Experiencing Eating Disorders” from Wyssen and colleagues published in 2019 in Psychosomatic Medicine, examines differences in the facial recognition of the emotions fear, anger, disgust, happiness, sadness, surprise in young women with eating disorders compared to women with depressive and anxiety disorders and women without any mental disorder.
This study used a computerized psychophysical paradigm (Quest) to manipulate the necessary signal threshold to identify a facial emotion expression and examined biases in emotion recognition. Findings showed, that all participants discriminated happiness at the lowest and fear at the highest threshold of visual information. Surprisingly, facial emotion recognition abilities were comparable in all women with or without mental disorders. It can be assumed, that rather than the basic recognition processes, the later (mis-)interpretation of emotions lead to difficulties in information processing in eating and other mental disorders.