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Neuropsychological weaknesses in anorexia nervosa: Set-shifting, central coherence, and decision making in currently ill and recovered women

Authors

  • Unna N. Danner PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Altrecht Eating Disorders Rintveld, Altrecht Mental Health Institute, The Netherlands
    2. Utrecht Research Group Eating Disorders, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    • Altrecht Eating Disorders Rintveld, Altrecht Mental Health Institute, Oude Arnhemseweg 260, 3705 BK, Zeist, The Netherlands
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  • Nicole Sanders MD,

    1. Altrecht Eating Disorders Rintveld, Altrecht Mental Health Institute, The Netherlands
    2. Rudolf Magnus Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
    3. Utrecht Research Group Eating Disorders, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Paul A.M. Smeets PhD,

    1. Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Utrecht Research Group Eating Disorders, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Floor van Meer MSc,

    1. Altrecht Eating Disorders Rintveld, Altrecht Mental Health Institute, The Netherlands
    2. Utrecht Research Group Eating Disorders, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Roger A.H. Adan PhD,

    1. Altrecht Eating Disorders Rintveld, Altrecht Mental Health Institute, The Netherlands
    2. Rudolf Magnus Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
    3. Utrecht Research Group Eating Disorders, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Hans W. Hoek MD, PhD,

    1. Altrecht Eating Disorders Rintveld, Altrecht Mental Health Institute, The Netherlands
    2. Parnassia Bavo Psychiatric Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands
    3. Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
    4. Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, United States
    5. Utrecht Research Group Eating Disorders, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Annemarie A. van Elburg MD, PhD

    1. Altrecht Eating Disorders Rintveld, Altrecht Mental Health Institute, The Netherlands
    2. University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
    3. Utrecht Research Group Eating Disorders, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Objective:

The purpose of this study is to examine set-shifting, central coherence, and decision making in women currently ill with anorexia nervosa (AN), women recovered from AN, and healthy control women. We aim to test whether these neuropsychological weaknesses persist after recovery, and explore relations between the impairments

Results:

Compared to control women, ill and recovered women showed poor set-shifting and decision making. There were strong correlations between set-shifting and central coherence in the ill and recovered women. Decision making did not correlate with the other measures.

Discussion:

The present findings suggest that impaired set-shifting and decision making are stable traits in women with AN. Because individual differences within these groups were large, a rigid thinking style is only present in a (sub)population of ill and recovered women. Decision-making performance is not related to a rigid thinking style, but further research in this area is warranted. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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