eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 18
Original article

The profile of “hot” and “cool” executive functions in young women with anorexia and bulimia nervosa

Kinga M. Gałuszka
Beata M. Daniluk

Instytut Psychologii, Wydział Pedagogiki i Psychologii, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
Katedra Psychologii Klinicznej i Neuropsychologii, Instytut Psychologii, Wydział Pedagogiki i Psychologii, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2023; 18, 1–2: 46–55
Online publish date: 2023/07/03
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Executive functions (EF) is an umbrella term used for cognitive processes, such as planning, set-shifting, inhibition or decision making. EF enables people to have goal-oriented and purposeful activity. Anorexia (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) are characterized by rigid and impulsive behaviors, whose purpose is to control/lose weight. The aim of the study was to examine EF in young women with AN and BN. The results of EF studies in this group are inconsistent; some authors report deficits in executive functioning and others do not. Due to the described role of emotion in development of eating disorders, we used the conception of hot and cool EF. The first EF are triggered in a situation that evokes emotions or tension between immediate and delayed gratification, while the second are triggered in an emotionally neutral situation. Women with ED (n = 15) were compared to healthy controls (n = 19) using neuropsychological tasks: the Color Trails Test, the Tower of London and the experimental version of the Iowa Gambling Task. The profile of executive functions in ED patients was nonharmonic. Relative to the HC, they performed worse in set shifting ability and had difficulties with planning. In tasks based on operation time they performed similarly to the healthy group. Exploration of executive functioning in women with eating disorders may contribute to successful treatment of ED because of better understanding of the development of this illness.

executive functions, eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa

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