Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2006 May;12(3):431-5.

Set shifting deficit in anorexia nervosa.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University, and The New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, USA.


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe mental illness characterized in part by rigid thinking and ritualized behaviors involving eating and weight. Cognitive rigidity may play a role in the perpetuation of symptoms, and may provide information as to important brain-based abnormalities. Neuropsychological studies of patients with AN have shown cognitive dysfunction, but few have focused on cognitive flexibility. This study assessed set shifting in patients with AN, as a measure of cognitive flexibility. In this study, 15 patients with AN were compared with 11 healthy controls using a neuropsychological battery including the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST). While patients with AN did not differ from controls on 5 measures of neuropsychological function, they made significantly more perseverative errors on the WCST, indicating a problem in set shifting. This finding suggests that patients with AN have a specific neurocognitive abnormality that may play a role in the development and persistence of this disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center