Preliminary evidence for a role for impulsivity in cognitive disinhibition in bulimia nervosa

Eva Kemps, Alexandra Wilsdon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    The present study investigated cognitive disinhibition in bulimia nervosa (BN) and examined whether impulsivity could account for this neuropsychological deficiency. Inhibitory processing of 13 women with BN (16-29 years) was compared against that of 13 healthy control participants matched for age, education, and socioeconomic status on a battery of widely used tasks: Stroop task, Haylings sentence completion test, excluded letter fluency, and Matching Familiar Figures Test. The women were also administered the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11). The BN patients displayed significant impairments on all inhibition measures and posited significantly higher impulsivity scores than the controls. Moreover, controlling for impulsivity reduced the group differences in Stroop color naming and excluded letter fluency to nonsignificance, indicating that poor inhibitory control in BN is at least partly attributable to an impulsive disposition.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)515-521
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


    • Bulimia nervosa
    • Cognitive disinhibition
    • Eating disorders
    • Impulsivity
    • Neuropsychological dysfunction


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