In this study, possible differences in the neural correlates of set-shifting abilities between the restrictive (AN-R) and bingeing/purging (AN-BP) subtypes of anorexia nervosa have been explored. Three groups of participants performed a set-shifting task during functional magnetic resonance imaging: patients with AN-R (N = 16), AN-BP (N = 13) and healthy control participants (N = 15). As in a typical set-shifting experiment, participants had to switch between two easy tasks (i.e. ‘Is the presented number odd/even’ or ‘Is the presented number smaller/larger than 5’). The trials in which the task was repeated (repeat trials) were compared with trials in which the task was switched (switch trials). With regards to the level of task performance, no significant group differences could be established. However, when comparing switch specific brain activity across study groups, a stronger activation was found in the insula and the precuneus in AN-R when compared to AN-BP and HC. These results suggest that the both subtypes of AN might have different neurobiological correlates, and thus, might benefit from different treatment approaches.
Van Autreve, S., De Baene, W., Baeken, C., van Heeringen, K., Vancayseele, N., & Vervaet, M. (2016). Differential neural correlates of set-shifting in the bingeing-purging and restrictive subtypes of anorexia nervosa: An fMRI study. European Eating Disorders Review, 24(4), 277-285. https://doi.org/10.1002/erv.2437