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Impaired visual discrimination learning in anorexia nervosa

Lawrence, Andrew David ORCID:, Dowson, J., Foxall, G. L., Summerfield, R., Robbins, T. W. and Sahakian, B. J. 2003. Impaired visual discrimination learning in anorexia nervosa. Appetite 40 (1) , pp. 85-89. 10.1016/S0195-6663(02)00138-1

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The primate dopamine system is involved in appetitively motivated behaviours, including certain forms of learning, for example, visualdiscriminationlearning. Furthermore, food restriction in animals and anorexia in humans is associated with impaired dopamine signaling. Based on this, we hypothesized that patients with anorexianervosa (AN) would show a deficit in visualdiscriminationlearning. In a dynamic categorization task involving the learning of a series of two-alternative forced-choice visualdiscriminations, conceptually identical to one shown to activate dopamine neurons in primates, and sensitive to dopaminergic manipulations in humans, patients with AN showed a deficit in learning that was most pronounced in the early stages of acquisition. In contrast, AN showed spared performance on a pattern recognition memory test sensitive to medial temporal lobe lesions, but insensitive to dopaminergic manipulations. We conclude that impaired appetitive function in patients with AN extends to include deficits in visualdiscriminationlearning, and that this deficit represents indirect evidence for altered dopaminergic neurotransmission in AN.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dopamine; Appetitive behaviour; Reward; Affective neuroscience
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0195-6663
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:10

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