Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 45–52 | Cite as

Neurocognitive Functioning in Young Adults with Subclinical Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Original Paper


Despite reasonable knowledge of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), little is known of its cognitive antecedents. In this study, we evaluated executive functioning and decision-making in people at risk of developing BDD using neuropsychological tests. Participants were non-treatment seeking volunteers (18–29 years) recruited from the general community, and split into two groups: those “at risk” of developing BDD (N = 5) and controls (N = 82). Participants undertook the One-Touch Stockings of Cambridge, Cambridge Gamble and Spatial Working Memory tasks and were assessed with the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Questionnaire. Results showed that the at-risk subjects performed significantly worse on a measure of executive function, whereas measures of risk-seeking behavior, quality of decision-making, and spatial working memory were largely intact. The findings suggest that selective cognitive dysfunction may already be present in terms of executive functioning in those at risk of developing BDD, even before psychopathology arises.


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) Cognition Executive function Young adult 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Written informed consent was obtained from all study participants. The Institutional Review Board for the University of Chicago approved the study and the consent.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


Dr. Grant has received research grants from NIMH, National Center for Responsible Gaming, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Trichotillomania Learning Center, Brainsway, Takeda, and Psyadon Pharmaceuticals. He receives yearly compensation from Springer Publishing for acting as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Gambling Studies and has received royalties from Oxford University Press, American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., Norton Press, and McGraw Hill. Mr. Blum and Ms. Redden report no financial relationships with commercial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Austin W. Blum
    • 1
  • Sarah A. Redden
    • 1
  • Jon E. Grant
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience, Pritzker School of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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