OBJECTIVE: This study deals with executive functions such as abstraction, use of strategy, and response flexibility (focused attention) seen in patients with anorexia nervosa.The aim was to highlight any correlation between neuropsychological functioning and the degree of pathology for food style, body image, and physical state. METHOD: A modified Stroop test, Wisconsin Card Sorting test, Body Shape Questionnaire, and Eating Disorder Inventory-2 were administered to 20 anorexia nervosa restricters (AN-R) and 20 control subjects. RESULTS: The AN-R subjects showed nonspecific attentional biases, in addition to disorders regarding abstraction and flexibility of thought, similar to those seen in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.The disturbance of body image showed a direct correlation to frontal alterations. DISCUSSION: This evidence suggested that in the AN-R subjects the disturbances of body image might be linked to the alterations of abstraction and critical abilities and with an obsessive frontal functioning.
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