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The neuropsychology of starvation: set-shifting and central coherence in a fasted nonclinical sample.

Pender S, Gilbert SJ, Serpell L - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Fasting exacerbated set-shifting difficulties on a rule-change task.Fasting was associated with stronger local and impaired global processing, indicating weaker central coherence.Models of AN that propose a central role for set-shifting difficulties or weak central coherence should also consider the impact of short-term fasting on these processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Recent research suggests certain neuropsychological deficits occur in anorexia nervosa (AN). The role of starvation in these deficits remains unclear. Studies of individuals without AN can elucidate our understanding of the effect of short-term starvation on neuropsychological performance.

Methods: Using a within-subjects repeated measures design, 60 healthy female participants were tested once after fasting for 18 hours, and once when satiated. Measures included two tasks to measure central coherence and a set-shifting task.

Results: Fasting exacerbated set-shifting difficulties on a rule-change task. Fasting was associated with stronger local and impaired global processing, indicating weaker central coherence.

Conclusions: Models of AN that propose a central role for set-shifting difficulties or weak central coherence should also consider the impact of short-term fasting on these processes.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Schematic illustration of the rule change and local-global tasks.
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pone-0110743-g001: Schematic illustration of the rule change and local-global tasks.

Mentions: This task was based on the task used by Bolton et al. [33]. However, the current study used only non-food images, given that no differences were found between food and non-food items in the previous study. On each trial, participants were asked to judge the number of photographs presented on a computer screen (Figure 1). Between one and six identical photographs of everyday items were presented. Participants were asked to respond with one of two computer keys to indicate Yes or No to one of four questions: ‘Odd?’ (i.e. 1, 3, or 5 items); ‘Even?’ (i.e. 2, 4, or 6 items); ‘High?’ (i.e. 4, 5, or 6 items); or ‘Low?’ (i.e. 1, 2, or 3 items). Participants were asked to respond as quickly and as accurately as possible. On two thirds of trials the question presented was the same as the previous trial; these were ‘stay trials’. On the remaining trials one of the other questions was randomly selected; these were ‘switch trials’. On each trial, the stimuli remained on screen until a response key was pressed, followed by a random delay of 250–500 ms before the next set of stimuli. Participants were not given the opportunity to practise the task prior to testing, and were administered one block of 100 trials (note: in the Bolton et al., 2014 study there were 20 practice trials and 400 experimental trials; the present procedure was otherwise identical to the earlier study). Shift costs were defined as the mean difference in RT between “shift” and “stay” trials: a higher shift cost indicated greater difficulty in changing response from one type of question to another.


The neuropsychology of starvation: set-shifting and central coherence in a fasted nonclinical sample.

Pender S, Gilbert SJ, Serpell L - PLoS ONE (2014)

Schematic illustration of the rule change and local-global tasks.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4206438&req=5

pone-0110743-g001: Schematic illustration of the rule change and local-global tasks.
Mentions: This task was based on the task used by Bolton et al. [33]. However, the current study used only non-food images, given that no differences were found between food and non-food items in the previous study. On each trial, participants were asked to judge the number of photographs presented on a computer screen (Figure 1). Between one and six identical photographs of everyday items were presented. Participants were asked to respond with one of two computer keys to indicate Yes or No to one of four questions: ‘Odd?’ (i.e. 1, 3, or 5 items); ‘Even?’ (i.e. 2, 4, or 6 items); ‘High?’ (i.e. 4, 5, or 6 items); or ‘Low?’ (i.e. 1, 2, or 3 items). Participants were asked to respond as quickly and as accurately as possible. On two thirds of trials the question presented was the same as the previous trial; these were ‘stay trials’. On the remaining trials one of the other questions was randomly selected; these were ‘switch trials’. On each trial, the stimuli remained on screen until a response key was pressed, followed by a random delay of 250–500 ms before the next set of stimuli. Participants were not given the opportunity to practise the task prior to testing, and were administered one block of 100 trials (note: in the Bolton et al., 2014 study there were 20 practice trials and 400 experimental trials; the present procedure was otherwise identical to the earlier study). Shift costs were defined as the mean difference in RT between “shift” and “stay” trials: a higher shift cost indicated greater difficulty in changing response from one type of question to another.

Bottom Line: Fasting exacerbated set-shifting difficulties on a rule-change task.Fasting was associated with stronger local and impaired global processing, indicating weaker central coherence.Models of AN that propose a central role for set-shifting difficulties or weak central coherence should also consider the impact of short-term fasting on these processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Recent research suggests certain neuropsychological deficits occur in anorexia nervosa (AN). The role of starvation in these deficits remains unclear. Studies of individuals without AN can elucidate our understanding of the effect of short-term starvation on neuropsychological performance.

Methods: Using a within-subjects repeated measures design, 60 healthy female participants were tested once after fasting for 18 hours, and once when satiated. Measures included two tasks to measure central coherence and a set-shifting task.

Results: Fasting exacerbated set-shifting difficulties on a rule-change task. Fasting was associated with stronger local and impaired global processing, indicating weaker central coherence.

Conclusions: Models of AN that propose a central role for set-shifting difficulties or weak central coherence should also consider the impact of short-term fasting on these processes.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus