Neuropsychology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Review and Treatment Implications


APA Citation: Greisberg, S. & Mckay, D. (2003). Neuropsychology of obsessive-compulsive disorder: A review and treatment implications. Clinical Psychology Review, 23(1), 95-117.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The existing literature examining neuropsychological features of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is reviewed. The accumulated research points to a deficit in organizational strategies in general, suggesting problems in executive functioning. The available research is inconsistent in identifying memory deficits in OCD. However, memory problems are most evident when tests are used that require an implicit organizational strategy. While the majority of the research reviewed involves adult samples, there is emerging evidence that these deficits are present in children as well. It is suggested here that the interaction between organizational strategy deficits and the effort to recall unstructured information contributes to doubting, an important feature of OCD. Implications of this body of research for behavior therapy are considered.