The association between attentional and executive controls in the expression of borderline personality disorder features: a preliminary study.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Predictive Value of Tests
Severity of Illness Index
Borderline Personality Disorder
Basic neurocognitive functions such as attention and executive cognitive control represent promising endophenotypes that may improve understanding of the development and expression of borderline personality disorders (BPD). We evaluated the association between performance on the Attention Network Task (ANT) and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), two neurocognitive laboratory instruments, and the extent of BPD psychopathology.
We studied 22 BPD-diagnosed individuals who were independently administered these two laboratory assays. Performance on these tests was used as a predictor of the extent of BPD psychopathology.
Indexes of the ANT and the WCST were correlated with one another in this sample. Further, the extent of impairment in attention networks, specifically the orienting network, was associated with a greater spectrum of BPD psychopathology, independent of the effects of age and medication status. Finally, ANT and WCST performance were uncorrelated with general psychosocial functioning in this sample, implicating relative specificity to the extent, as contrasted with functional severity, of BPD psychopathology.
Attentional and executive functions are promising endophenotypic markers of BPD psychopathology. The implications of these findings are considered from developmental, experimental, and clinical perspectives.