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Keywords:

  • neuropsychology;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • ecological validity;
  • cognitive flexibility

Abstract

Neuropsychological findings in eating disorders are somewhat inconsistent. This may be because individual studies have used a broad range of tests on relatively small, heterogeneous clinical groups, thus limiting the detection of subtle neuropsychological differences in these patients. Therefore, rather than using broad assessments of a variety of neuropsychological functions, adoption of a more focused, hypothesis-driven approach based on clinical practice is proposed. This will allow more in-depth investigations of targeted functions and will improve the chances of detecting a problem, of exploring its ecologic validity, and of tailoring a treatment. We have demonstrated this approach using our neuropsychological studies of cognitive flexibility in anorexia nervosa (AN). © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.