Inhibitory control and decision making under risk in bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder

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Objective:To investigate neuropsychological mechanisms of impulsivity in patients with bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge-eating disorder (BED).Method:Nineteen BN patients and 31 age- and body-mass-index (BMI)-matched healthy controls (c-BN) as well as 54 overweight and obese BED patients and 43 age- and BMI-matched healthy controls (c-BED) were investigated using an inhibitory control task (stop signal task, SST) and a decision-making under risk task (game of dice task, GDT).Results:Compared to c-BN, BN patients demonstrated significant greater stop signal reaction times in the SST, but no differences for the frequency of risky decisions in the GDT. BED patients did not differ from c-BED in the SST or the GDT.Discussion:BN but not BED patients differed from their respective control groups concerning the “stopping” component of impulsivity. These differences in motor inhibition may contribute to the behavioral distinctions in binge-eating behavior between BN and BED. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013; 46:721–728)

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