EATING DISORDERS: Edited by Hans W. Hoek and Anna Keski-RahkonenThe promise of neurobiological research in anorexia nervosaSteinglass, Joanna E.; Dalack, Maya; Foerde, KarinAuthor Information Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, USA Correspondence to Joanna E. Steinglass, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 98, New York, NY 10032, USA. Tel: +1 646 774 6345; fax: +1 646 774 7513; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Psychiatry: November 2019 - Volume 32 - Issue 6 - p 491-497 doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000540 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review This article reviews new research in the context of existing literature to identify approaches that will advance understanding of the persistence of anorexia nervosa. Recent findings Neuroscience research in anorexia nervosa has yielded disparate findings: no definitive neural mechanism underlying illness vulnerability or persistence has been identified and no clear neural target for intervention has emerged. Recent advances using structural and functional neuroimaging research, as well as new techniques for applying and combining these approaches, have led to a refined understanding of changes in neural architecture among individuals who are acutely ill, have undergone renourishment, or are in recovery/remission. In particular, advances have come from the incorporation of computational and translational approaches, as well as efforts to link experimental paradigms with illness-relevant behavior. Recent findings converge to suggest abnormalities in systems involved in reward learning and processing among individuals with anorexia nervosa. Summary Anorexia nervosa is associated with neurobiological abnormalities. Aberrant learning and reward processing may contribute to the persistence of illness. To better utilize new techniques to understand the neural mechanisms of persistent anorexia nervosa, it may help to distinguish stages of illness and to link neurobiology with maladaptive behavior. Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.