Normal and abnormal information processing. A neuropsychological perspective on obsessive compulsive disorder

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1992 Dec;15(4):825-48.


This article presents a neuropsychological perspective on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and describes some of the cognitive strengths and weaknesses that characterize the disorder. Neuroanatomic findings and theories of the neurologic basis of OCD are reviewed as are studies that use neuropsychological assessments. Findings of frontal lobe and/or basal ganglia dysfunction as well as memory deficits are emphasized. This information is then discussed in the context of cognitive-behavioral and information processing perspectives that emphasize normal patterns in anxiety and worry. The goal is to provide an integrated conceptual model of OCD, identifying the normal and abnormal information processing patterns that characterize the disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / physiopathology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mental Processes* / physiology
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / physiopathology
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / physiopathology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology*