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Neuropsychology. 2010 Jul;24(4):527-33. doi: 10.1037/a0018653.

Do organizational strategies mediate nonverbal memory impairment in drug-naïve patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder?

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Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science Program, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.



The present study aimed to examine nonverbal memory and organizational skill functions in psychotropic-naïve patients with OCD.


Forty-one drug-naïve, 41 medicated OCD patients and 41 healthy controls, all of whom were matched for gender, age, education and intelligence, were included in the study. The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (RCFT) was administered to evaluate nonverbal memory ability and organizational skill.


OCD patients demonstrated impaired nonverbal memory irrespective of medication status (F = 6.54, p < .01, eta(2)p = .098 for immediate recall; F = 7.76, p < .01, eta(2)p = .114 for delayed recall). Medicated patients showed deficits in organizational strategies (eta(2)p = .079), which mediated nonverbal memory impairment (Z = -2.20, p = .027). The difference of organizational skill between drug-naïve and control groups did not reach statistical significance (eta(2)p = .054) and the association between organization and nonverbal memory was weak in the drug-naïve sample (Z = -1.74, = .081). There was no significant difference between the patient groups in RCFT indices.


Our findings suggest that the organizational strategies may not be an effective mediator of nonverbal memory impairment in OCD and indicate that the clinical characteristics may be important to be considered in future research. Further studies are needed to improve understanding of the nature of nonverbal memory dysfunction in OCD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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