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Assessment of Cognitive Flexibility in Anorexia Nervosa – Self-Report or Experimental Measure? A Brief Report

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2011

Naima Lounes
Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
Gazal Khan
Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
Kate Tchanturia*
Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Kate Tchanturia, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychological Medicine, PO59 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF UK. E-mail:


This study investigated the correspondence between self-report and experimental measures of cognitive flexibility in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) and healthy controls (HCs). Ninety-four participants (45 individuals with AN and 49 HCs) completed the self-report Cognitive Flexibility Scale (CFS) and an experimental task, the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test. The AN group performed poorly on both measures of cognitive flexibility compared with HCs. There was no significant correlation between the CFS scores and the errors on the Brixton Test for both groups. The findings suggest there is poor correspondence between the self-report measure of cognitive flexibility and performance on the flexibility test. These two assessment tools therefore cannot be used interchangeably to assess cognitive flexibility. Flexibility is an important clinical characteristic in AN. The results suggest that self-report and behavioral measures can be complementary, but cannot be used as an alternative to one another. (JINS, 2011, 17, 925–928)

Brief Communications
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2011

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Note: The first two authors contributed equally to all aspects of this study.



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