Eating disorders

Background and research focus


Research on eating disorders was started by Prof M Vervaet in 1995 to structure clinical research of specific neuropsychological features and processes within a transdiagnostic model of psychiatric problems.

Since then research was focused on the specific ways of information processing in eating disordered patients in order to decrease the strong resistance to change and improve treatment.

Research focus

  • The role of temperament in different categories of eating disorders
  • Reward and punishment sensitivity
  • Set shifting, central coherence and executive functioning
  • Emotional regulation and neuromodulation


Professors and Guest Professors

Kurt Audenaert

Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt

Cornelis van Heeringen

Myriam Vervaet (contact person)

Postdoctoral researchers

Annelies Matton (Ghent University Hospital)

PhD candidates

Louise Puttevils

National and international collaborations

  • Multicentre collaboration of all Flemish eating disorder units at the different university hospitals (KUL, UIA, VUB, UPC Tienen)
  • Kings College London, Kate Tchanturia
  • University of Leiden, Greta Noordenbos, Eiko Fried
  • University of Utrecht, AnneMarie Van Elburg

Defended PhDs (last 5 years)

Towards a better understanding of the role of temperament in eating disorders

Annelies Matton (2017)

The role of set-shifting and central coherence in differentiating the restrictive and bingeing/purging subtypes of anorexia nervosa : evidence from neuropsychological and neurobiological studies

Sara Van Autreve (2016)