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Neurosci Lett. 2013 Sep 27;552:162-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.07.054. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

Inhibitory deficit in semantic conflict in obsessive-compulsive disorder: an event-related potential study.

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  • 1Medical Psychological Institute, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 410011, PR China.


The present study examines the inhibitory function of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) involved in semantic conflict using event-related potentials (ERPs). EPRs were recorded in a group of 18 medicine-free OCD patients and 18 normal controls using a modified Stroop paradigm in which the participants were asked to make a judgment of congruent or incongruent stimuli. The reaction time to color-word incongruent stimuli in the OCD group was significantly longer than the reaction time to congruent stimuli. In the OCD group, a significant negativity shift was discovered in P350 amplitude and N450 amplitude in response to incongruent stimuli, a shift not present in the control group. The amplitude of difference waveform was significantly higher for OCD than for control subjects. The findings probably revealed an inhibitory deficit in patients with OCD when performing semantic conflict tasks. The results suggest that this type of inhibitory deficit may be the cause of increased Stroop effects in patients with OCD, and one of contributors to the pathophysiology of OCD.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


ERPs; Inhibitory deficit; Obsessive–compulsive disorder; Semantic conflict; Stroop task

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