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Exp Brain Res. 2013 Sep;229(3):443-9. doi: 10.1007/s00221-013-3471-y. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Break in volition: a virtual reality study in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Via Pellizza da Volpedo 41, 20149, Milan, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Exp Brain Res. 2013 Sep;229(3):450. Paglia, F L [corrected to La Paglia, Filippo]; Cascia, C L [corrected to La Cascia, Caterina].


Research in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) produced inconsistent results in demonstrating an association between patients' symptom severity and their cognitive impairments. The process involved in volition aspects of behavioral syndromes can be extensively analyzed using specific tests developed in virtual environments, more suitable to manipulate rules and possible breaks of the normal task execution with different, confusing or stopping instructions. The study involved thirty participants (15 OCD patients and 15 controls) during task execution and the relative interferences. At this purpose, the virtual version of Multiple Errands Test was used. Virtual reality setting, with a higher ecological validity respect to a classic neuropsychological battery, allowed us to take into account deficits of volition and the relative dysexecutive functions associated with OCD patients. The proposed paradigm also allows the development of innovative prototypes of coevolving technologies based on new theories and models and deeper understanding of human behavior.

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