It's not you who is ugly, but your brain

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Washington, Dec 4 (UNI) If you are decked up for party but still can't find yourself praiseworthy , then it's your brain that needs a brush up and not your face.

A new research reveals that people with a disorder of getting convinced that they are ugly have a brain malfunction while processing things they see.

It concluded that people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) use more of their left side of brain which makes them more analytical and detailed observers.

''This is the first time where there's evidence that there is kind of a biological abnormality that may be contributing to the symptoms - the distorted body image - in body dysmorphic disorder,'' lead researcher from the University of California, Dr Feusner said.

The findings, published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, shed light on BDD, marked by a dramatically distorted self-image and obsessive thoughts about imagined or minor defects in their appearance.

The research showed that about 1-2 per cent of people around the world were suffering from this disorder.

The disorder tends to run in families and appears in both men and women. It is more common in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

''It affects them so they often can't leave their house or function very well at work; they can't have relationships because of this concern: usually they're thinking about their appearance in some way multiple hours a day, checking the mirror, looking into cosmetic procedures,'' Dr Feusner added.

People with BDD often think of themselves as ugly or disfigured and may obsess about physical traits or minor and imagined flaws even when assured by others that they look fine.

About a quarter of people with BDD attempt suicide while some undergo repeated cosmetic surgery procedures in a futile attempt to fix the problems.

The cause of the disorder remains unknown, with experts suspecting that a variety of factors may contribute, from genetics to upbringing.

Dr Feusner's team performed functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, brain scans on 12 people with the disorder as they viewed black-and-white images of other people's faces, and compared the results to those people who do not have BDD.

They saw differences in how the right and left sides of the brain worked in people with BDD.

All were shown three pictures: a black-and-white photo of a face with a neutral expression, a black-and-white blurry image of a face, and a black-and-white image looking like a detailed line drawing of a face.

The brain scans showed that the people with BDD relied much more heavily on their brain's left side than the right side.

''The left side of the brain is really specialised for doing more detailed and analytic process, whereas the right side of the brain processes more holistically and globally,'' Dr Feusner said.


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