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Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2017 Mar;25(2):129-134. doi: 10.1002/erv.2500.

Is overestimation of body size associated with neuropsychological weaknesses in anorexia nervosa?

Author information

Regional Department for Eating Disorders (RASP), Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Research Support Services, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Clinical Neuroscience Research Group, Department of Psychology, Oslo, Norway.
Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.



Recent research indicates some evidence of neuropsychological weaknesses in visuospatial memory, central coherence and set-shifting in adults with anorexia nervosa (AN). The growing interest in neuropsychological functioning of patients with AN is based upon the assumption that neuropsychological weaknesses contribute to the clinical features of the illness. However, due to a paucity of research on the connection between neuropsychological difficulties and the clinical features of AN, this link remains hypothetical. The main objective of this study was to explore the association between specific areas of neuropsychological functioning and body size estimation in patients with AN and healthy controls.


The sample consisted of 36 women diagnosed with AN and 34 healthy female controls. Participants were administered the continuous visual memory test and the recall trials of Rey Complex Figure Test to assess visual memory. Central coherence was assessed using the copy trial of Rey Complex Figure Test, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test was used to assess set-shifting. Body size estimation was assessed with a computerized morphing programme.


The analyses showed no significant correlations between any of the neuropsychological measures and body size estimation.


The results suggest that there is no association between these areas of neuropsychological difficulties and body size estimation among patients with AN. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.


anorexia nervosa; body size estimation; central coherence; set-shifting; visuospatial memory

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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