The relationship between Eating Disorders (ED) and dysfunctional emotional strategies has been explored by literature. Understanding of the mutual relationship between mind and body inside psychopathologies, like Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN), could increase knowledge and the skills used to cope with treatment strategies. The purpose is to explore the different narrative and symbolic abilities of patients with AN and BN in relationships with physiologic variables. We consider verbalization a product of the individual bodily functioning, referring to the Multiple Code Theory (MCT-Bucci, 1997), a theory of mind that explains how different processing processes of psycho-corporeal information influence the different narrative processes. Another aim of the study is to explore specific features of the language of AN and BN from a linguistic point of view; more specifically, we want to create a computerized dictionary to identify and improve diagnostic accuracy in eating disorders. This research includes 2 clinical groups (AN, BN) and 1 control group. Each group will be formed by 55 subjects, with a total of 160 participants. In the first step is sociodemographic information, physiological parameters (BMI, ECG, thyroid parameters, heart rate monitor) and psychological variables (Profile of Mood of State, Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, Toronto Alexithymia Scale) will be assessed. Then a Relationship Anecdotal Paradigm (RAP) interview will be administrated. Interview transcripts will be processed by IDAAP software to measure a specific set of Referential Process (RP) computerized linguistic measures.
We expect that the RP works different in three groups, showing different symbolizing process for each group strictly correlated to body-parameter functions. Also, different strategies to regulate emotions are expected to be found in BN compared to other groups. We assume to find a specific linguistic pattern, generating a new dictionary to assess ED.