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Title: The neuropsychology of starvation : set-shifting, central coherence, perseveration, and persistence in a nonclinical sample
Author: Pender, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 4309
Awarding Body: University College London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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The literature review investigates recent advances in psychological treatments for anorexia nervosa (AN) in children, adolescents, and adults. Treatment studies are generally limited by small sample sizes and uncontrolled research designs. In adolescence, there is some evidence for Maudsley Family Therapy (MFT). Inpatient care or specialist outpatient care are not superior to routine community treatment in adolescents, which has implications for service delivery. In adults, the findings are more mixed. One approach is not clearly superior to another. Future research using control and comparison groups with larger samples are needed to explore several approaches outlined in this review in more detail. The empirical paper describes an exploration of the effects of short-term fasting on tasks measuring cognitive flexibility and information processing in a nonclinical sample. Findings from Bolton, Burgess, Gilbert and Serpell (in preparation) who reported that short-term fasting impaired the ability to shift mental set were replicated. Short-term fasting was also associated with weaker central coherence. These findings suggest that any model proposing cognitive rigidity and weak central coherence as endophenotypes of AN may also need to account for the role of starvation. The critical appraisal explores some of the limitations of the research project. In particular the limitations of working with a nonclinical sample and of using novel experimental tasks are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available