Mouse‐cursor trajectories reveal reduced contextual influence on decision conflict during delay discounting in anorexia nervosa

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


Objective:The capacity of individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) to forgo immediatefood rewards in their long-term pursuit of thinness is thought to reflect elevated self-control and/or abnormal reward sensitivity. Prior research attempted to capture anincreased tendency to delay gratification in AN using delay-discounting tasks thatassess how rapidly the subjective value of rewards decreases as a function of timeuntil receipt. However, significant effects were mostly subtle or absent. Here, wetested whether theprocessleading to such decisions might be altered in AN.Method:We recorded mouse-cursor movement trajectories leading to the finalchoice in a computerized delay-discounting task (238 trials) in 55 acutely under-weight females with AN and pairwise age-matched female healthy controls (HC). Wetested for group differences in deviations from a direct choice path, a measure ofconflict strength in decision making, and whether group moderated the effect ofseveral predictors of conflict strength (e.g., choice difficulty, consistency). We alsoexplored reaction times and changes in trajectory directions (X-flips).Results:No group differences in delay-discounting parameters or movementtrajectories were detected. However, the effect of the aforementioned predictors ondeviations (and to a lesser extent reaction times) was reduced in AN.Discussion:These findings suggest that while delay discounting and conflict strengthin decision making are generally unaltered in AN, conflict strength was more stableacross different decisions in the disorder. This might enable individuals with AN topursue (maladaptive) long-term body-weight goals, because particularly conflictingchoices may not be experienced as such.Public Significance:The deviations from a direct path of mouse-cursor movementsduring a computerized delay-discounting task varied less in people with anorexia


Seiten (von - bis)1898-1908
FachzeitschriftInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 7 Juli 2023

Externe IDs

unpaywall 10.1002/eat.24019
Scopus 85164515947
WOS 001020235800001
ORCID /0000-0002-2864-5578/work/142233502
ORCID /0000-0002-4408-6016/work/142234419
ORCID /0000-0003-2132-4445/work/142236371
ORCID /0000-0002-6152-5834/work/142241985
ORCID /0000-0002-5112-405X/work/142242690
ORCID /0000-0002-5026-1239/work/142250315
ORCID /0000-0002-4558-0323/work/138225148


Fächergruppen, Lehr- und Forschungsbereiche, Fachgebiete nach Destatis


  • anorexia nervosa, decision making, delay discounting, delayed gratification, eating disorders, impulsive behavior, mouse-cursor tracking, reward, self-control, Self-control, Decision making, Eating disorders, Anorexia nervosa, Delay discounting, Mouse-cursor tracking, Impulsive behavior, Reward, Delayed gratification