for females ages 14-17 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at San Diego, California
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Christina Wierenga
Headshot of Christina Wierenga
Christina Wierenga



This study of adolescent eating disorders (ED) will examine the association of temperament-based classifications, brain activation during incentive processing, and ED symptoms at time of scan and 1 year later to better understand the neurobiology and symptoms of ED. We will recruit 150 females currently ill with an ED and 50 controls ages 14-17 to investigate how temperaments reflecting greater inhibition, impulsivity, or effortful control correspond to 1) clinical symptoms and 2) the brain's response to anticipation and outcome of salient stimuli, and 3) by collecting follow-up clinical data one year later, identify how temperament-based subtypes predict ED symptom change (e.g., clinical prediction). Data collection will rely on a technology called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Official Title

Neurocircuitry of Temperament and Motivated Behavior in Adolescent Eating Disorders


Eating Disorder, adolescents, healthy controls, Feeding and Eating Disorders


You can join if…

Open to females ages 14-17

  • Female
  • Meet DSM-V criteria for an Eating Disorder or Never met criteria for an Eating disorder
  • Medically stable
  • Post-Pubertal (must have started menses, but subsequent loss of menses secondary to ED is fine).

You CAN'T join if...

  • Psychotic illness/other mental illness requiring hospitalization
  • Current dependence on drugs or alcohol
  • Physical conditions known to influence eating or weight (e.g, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy).
  • On psychoactive medication
  • Organic brain syndromes, delirium, psychotic disorders, or intellectual disability
  • Neurological or medical disorders such as seizure disorder
  • Any contraindication to undergoing an MRI
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Left handed


  • University of California San Diego
    San Diego California 92121 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Christina Wierenga
    Christina Wierenga, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. She is a Fellow of the Division of Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40) of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a Fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders. She is also the Co-Director of the Psychology Internship Training Program at UCSD/VASDHS.


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
About 155 people participating
Last Updated