Extent, profile and specificity of visuospatial impairment in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Steffen Moritz*, Martin Kloss, Dirk Jacobsen, Michael Kellner, Burghard Andresen, Susanne Fricke, Georg Kerkhoff, Christina Sieman, Iver Hand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent reviews on the neurocognitive profile of patients diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have converged on the assumption that both visuospatial and especially nonverbal memory performance are impaired in OCD. However, as most prior studies have contrasted performance of OCD patients with healthy controls only, no inferences can yet be drawn about the specificity of these deficits to OCD. Further, the administration of complex and multifunctional tasks limit conclusions about clearly defined cognitive deficits. The present study compared 71 OCD patients to 30 healthy and 33 psychiatric control participants on a large battery of visuospatial and nonverbal memory tasks at two time-points. In addition, a visuospatial battery (VS battery), which assesses a wide range of elementary visuospatial functions, was administered. While OCD patients performed worse than healthy controls on some complex tasks (e.g., Block Design), no visuospatial component proved to be impaired specifically in OCD. OCD patients and controls performed similarly on parameters of non-verbal memory. Regarding organizational strategy, OCD patients performed worse than healthy (but not psychiatric) control participants on two out of three Rey-figure trials (copy and immediate). It is suggested that prior research overestimated the severity and significance of visuospatial and nonverbal memory impairment in OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-814
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Volume27
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

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