Patients with acute anorexia nervosa had an increase in ventral striatal activation in response to underweight female body images (versus normal weight) and showed preference for underweight images, whereas in healthy comparison subjects, ventral striatal activation was shown in response to normal weight female body images where these participants preferred normal relative to underweight images. Within groups, the difference (magnitude) between stimuli sets was significantly smaller in healthy women, interpreted as a "qualitative difference." To elaborate on this finding, perhaps women with anorexia nervosa are selectively biased toward processing normal weight images aversively and underweight images as rewarding, whereas healthy women may perceive underweight images aversively but normal weight images as at least preferable (within context). How can a similar pattern of striatal activation occur in both groups? Perhaps knowing participants' experience of aversion toward normal versus underweight body images might inform the interpretation regarding the difference in magnitude.