No evidence for object alternation impairment in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Steffen Moritz*, Lena Jelinek, Birgit Hottenrott, Ruth Klinge, Sarah Randjbar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Recent neuroimaging studies have consistently ascribed the orbito-frontal cortex (OFC) a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Cognitive tests presumed sensitive to this region, such as the Object Alternation Task (OAT), are considered important tools to verify this assumption and to investigate the impact of cortical dysfunction on behavior. The aim of the present study was to assess if patients with OCD show enhanced perseveration errors on the OAT relative to healthy controls taking into account several potential moderators, especially comorbid depression and OCD subtype. Thirty-five OCD patients and 18 healthy controls underwent the OAT as well as the Trail-Making Tests (TMT) A and B. In line with prior studies, OCD patients were slowed on both TMT tasks. In contrast, samples performed similarly on the OAT. While the latter finding does not invalidate the assumption that the OFC is affected in OCD, dysfunctions involving this region may be more subtle than often claimed and likely encompass only a small subset of functional domains hosted in the OFC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-179
Number of pages4
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Executive functioning
  • Neurocognition
  • Object alternation
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Orbito-frontal cortex

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