Subjective self-control and behavioural impulsivity coexist in anorexia nervosa.
ABSTRACT Anorexia nervosa (AN) has been associated with impulse regulation problems. This study investigated subjective and behavioural impulsivity in women with anorexia nervosa (n=15) and a control group (n=16).
A self-report measure (the impulsiveness, venturesomeness, and empathy questionnaire; I(7)) and two behavioural measures (a continuous performance task [CPT]; and a novel risk taking measure [Bets 16]) of impulsivity were used along with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
The AN group had elevated BDI scores and lower self-reported impulsiveness and venturesomeness scores, but they also displayed impulsive behaviour on the CPT (more errors of commission with faster reaction times).
The coexistence, in AN, of self-reported self-control and behavioural impulsivity indicates that the relationship between impulsivity and disordered eating in AN is more complex than previously recognised and supports the view that self-awareness in AN is low.
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ABSTRACT: Literature on impulsivity regularly claims inhibitory control deficits underlie impulsive behavior. The current study investigated whether taxing inhibitory control will increase reflection (decision making under conditions of uncertainty), temporal (delay of gratification), and motor impulsivity (behavioral disinhibition). Inhibitory control was challenged, via a random letter generation task presented during responding to three impulsivity measures: the Information Sampling Task (IST), Single Key Impulsivity Paradigm, and the Stop Signal Task (SST). Participants (n = 33) were assigned to the inhibitory control challenging (experimental) condition, or to a control condition in which inhibitory control was not challenged. The SST was affected by the inhibitory control challenge: participants in the experimental condition displayed increased motor impulsivity, evidenced in longer stop signal reaction times (SSRTs) compared to the control group. The manipulation did not affect reflection- or temporal- impulsivity measures. These data support the suggestion that the mechanisms underlying the motor subtype of impulsivity are dissociable from the temporal and reflection subtypes, and that engagement of inhibitory control is not necessary to prevent impulsive decision making.Experimental Psychology 04/2013; · 2.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Several studies have investigated the neuropsychological functioning of patients with anorexia nervosa restrictive type (AN-r), but results are conflicting. Here we compared the neuropsychological profile of 23 female children and adolescents with AN-r and of 46 typical controls (aged 9-16 years) using the second edition of the NEPSY (a Developmental Neuropsychology Assessment) neuropsychological battery. AN-r patients presented subtle cognitive flexibility impairments in audiomotor responses (p = .033). Conversely, superior performance in verbal fluency (p = .024) and memory (p = .034) was observed only in AN-r patients with an associated unipolar mood disorder. This profile of marginally impaired and enhanced performance was independent from illness duration and starvation degree, suggesting that it may preexist and represent a vulnerability factor for the disease onset. This study was supported by the Italian Ministry of Health (C.U., Grant GR-2008-1137139), by IRCCS E. Medea (C.U., Ricerca Corrente 2011, Italian Ministry of Health), and by IRCCS Stella Maris Foundation (F.M., Ricerca Corrente 2011, Italian Ministry of Health). The authors declare that the funding institutions did not influence the study and that no conflict of interest exists.Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 01/2013; · 2.16 Impact Factor