Neuropsychological abnormalities in obsessive-compulsive disorder and their assessments

Christiane S. Cox

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    36 Scopus citations


    Neuropsychological test performance of children, adolescents and adults with OCD was very variable. As a group, children and adolescents with OCD had persistent difficulties with executive functions, and show attentional and inhibitory deficits on a continuous performance test. As a group, adults with OCD showed consistent differences in allocation of attention, whether measured by evoked potential, eye movement or reaction time paradigms. They also showed inconsistent problems with visual perceptual discrimination, visual memory and working memory, as well as visuomotor tasks. However, these latter studies all failed to assess attentional capacity concurrently. Traditional measures of lateral prefrontal cortex-basal ganglia functioning tended to be depressed only in those subjects with comorbid depression, obsessional slowness, a large number of neurological soft signs, Tourette's syndrome, and/or lower IQ. Only tasks requiring inhibition of art automatic response correlated with severity of OCD symptoms; these are thought to be subserved by orbitofrontal-subcortical circuits.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)45-60
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1997

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychiatry and Mental health


    Dive into the research topics of 'Neuropsychological abnormalities in obsessive-compulsive disorder and their assessments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this