Habit learning and anorexia nervosa: A cognitive neuroscience hypothesis
Article first published online: 7 MAR 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 39, Issue 4, pages 267–275, May 2006
How to Cite
Steinglass, J. and Walsh, B. T. (2006), Habit learning and anorexia nervosa: A cognitive neuroscience hypothesis. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 39: 267–275. doi: 10.1002/eat.20244
- Issue published online: 24 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 7 MAR 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 AUG 2005
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Grant Number: MH65024
- NIMH Research Fellowship in Affective, Anxiety, Eating and Related Disorders at Columbia University
- anorexia nervosa;
- habit learning;
- cognitive function;
- implicit learning
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is characterized by abnormal behaviors involving eating and weight that are impressively resistant to change. The persistence of these behaviors likely plays an important role in the high relapse rate after initial treatment. Persistent, stereotyped behaviors are also characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This article presents a neurocognitive model of AN, based on comparisons with OCD.
This article reviews clinical, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging findings in both OCD and AN relevant to a neurobiological understanding of a potential mechanism of the perpetuation of AN.
The identification of specific neurocognitive disturbances in individuals with OCD has led to a compelling hypothesis of the neural mechanisms mediating this disorder. Evidence suggests that similar disturbances, involving neural circuits between the cortex and the basal ganglia, may be present in individuals with AN.
Research on such neurocognitive disturbances has the potential both to inform understanding of neural mechanisms underlying AN and to lead to advances in treatment. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Int J Eat Disord, 2006