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The Role of Working Memory for Cognitive Control in Anorexia Nervosa versus Substance Use Disorder
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology.
Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University, Bellville, South Africa.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7112-0921
2017 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 8, article id 1651Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Prefrontal cortex executive functions, such as working memory (WM) interact with limbic processes to foster impulse control. Such an interaction is referred to in a growing body of publications by terms such as cognitive control, cognitive inhibition, affect regulation, self-regulation, top-down control, and cognitive–emotion interaction. The rising trend of research into cognitive control of impulsivity, using various related terms reflects the importance of research into impulse control, as failure to employ cognitions optimally may eventually result in mental disorder. Against this background, we take a novel approach using an impulse control spectrum model – where anorexia nervosa (AN) and substance use disorder (SUD) are at opposite extremes – to examine the role of WM for cognitive control. With this aim, we first summarize WM processes in the healthy brain in order to frame a systematic review of the neuropsychological, neural and genetic findings of AN and SUD. In our systematic review of WM/cognitive control, we found n = 15 studies of AN with a total of n = 582 AN and n = 365 HC participants; and n = 93 studies of SUD with n = 9106 SUD and n = 3028 HC participants. In particular, we consider how WM load/capacity may support the neural process of excessive epistemic foraging (cognitive sampling of the environment to test predictions about the world) in AN that reduces distraction from salient stimuli. We also consider the link between WM and cognitive control in people with SUD who are prone to ‘jumping to conclusions’ and reduced epistemic foraging. Finally, in light of our review, we consider WM training as a novel research tool and an adjunct to enhance treatment that improves cognitive control of impulsivity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 8, article id 1651
Keywords [en]
anorexia nervosa, cognitive control, genetic, neural, neuropsychology, substance use disorder, working memory, working memory training
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-342252DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01651ISI: 000411427000002PubMedID: 29018381OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-342252DiVA, id: diva2:1183915
Available from: 2018-02-19 Created: 2018-02-19 Last updated: 2018-03-15Bibliographically approved

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Brooks, Samantha J.Schiöth, Helgi B.

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