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Measuring state trait properties of detail processing and global integration ability in eating disorders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462 - 472
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

© 2011 Informa Healthcare

King's Authors


Objectives. Women with eating disorders (EDs) are reported to have strengths in local or detailed information processing and difficulties with coherence or global processing/integration. Methods. This study aimed to replicate these findings and additionally explore a global integration task which has not previously been reported for an ED group, the Fragmented Pictures Task (FPT). Two hundred and twenty-two women (50 with anorexia nervosa (AN), 48 with bulimia nervosa (BN), 35 recovered from AN and 89 controls (HC)) completed the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Task (RCFT) to measure global/local processing strategies, the Group Embedded Figures Task (GEFT) to measure local processing and the FPT to measure global integration. Results. Superior detail processing skills (GEFT) and a tendency to utilise detail processing strategies (RCFT) were associated with having AN, BN and being in recovery from AN. Global integration difficulties (FPT) were only observed in acute AN, whereas participants in the BN and recovered group performed similarly to HCs. Conclusions. People currently ill with, and recovered from EDs are skilled at detail processing. The acute phase of AN is associated with difficulties in global integration.

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