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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2009 Mar;15(2):286-90. doi: 10.1017/S1355617709090213. Epub 2009 Feb 10.

The neuropsychological profile of a subclinical obsessive-compulsive sample.

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Department of Psychology, Sungshin Women's University, Seoul, Korea.


We investigated the neuropsychological profile of subjects in a subclinical obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) sample. Psychometrically defined subclinical obsessive-compulsive (n = 21) and control (n = 22) subjects were examined. Comprehensive neuropsychological tests evaluating verbal/nonverbal memory, attention, and executive function were administered. The subclinical obsessive-compulsive group showed poorer performances on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), F(1, 41) = 13.80, p < .001, and Trail-Making Test (TMT), F(1, 41) = 5.48, p < .05, compared with the control group. The subclinical obsessive-compulsive group showed higher rates of total errors, perseverative errors, and perseverative responses. In addition, the subclinical obsessive-compulsive group committed a greater number of errors in the TMT. However, the groups showed no performance differences in the TMT after controlling for the effects of depression and anxiety, F(1, 39) = 0.11, p = .739. These results suggest that subclinical obsessive-compulsives seemed to display deficits in executive functioning. This neuropsychological profile is consistent with current theories proposing that executive dysfunction may serve as the pathophysiological mechanism underlying the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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