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An examination of decision making in bulimia nervosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455 - 461
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number4
PublishedMay 2009

King's Authors


Background: Patients with eating disorders favor immediate gratification and ignore long-term negative consequences. This study investigated decision making in bulimia nervosa using the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and skin conductance responses (SCR). Method: A total of 26 bulimia nervosa patients and 51 healthy controls took part in this study; 29 patients with anorexia nervosa were included for comparison. Results: Bulimia nervosa patients performed poorly in the IGT, but showed no decrease in anticipatory SCR, whereas a markedly diminished anticipatory SCR was seen in the anorexia nervosa group. Conclusions: This finding does not support the somatic marker hypothesis. Impaired decision making was associated with obsessive-compulsive traits.

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