Fronto-cingulate effective connectivity in obsessive compulsive disorder: a study with fMRI and dynamic causal modeling

Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Dec;31(12):1834-50. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20980. Epub 2010 Feb 16.


Evidence suggests that obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with an overactive error control system. A key role in error detection and control has been ascribed to the fronto-cingulate system. However, the exact functional interplay between the single components of this network in OCD is largely unknown. Therefore, the present study combined a univariate data analysis and effective connectivity analysis using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to examine error control in 21 patients with OCD and 21 matched healthy controls. All subjects performed an adapted version of the Stroop color-word task while undergoing fMRI scans. Enhanced activation in the fronto-cingulate system could be detected in OCD patients during the incongruent task condition. Additionally, task-related modulation of effective connectivity from the dorsal ACC to left DLPFC was significantly stronger in OCD patients. These findings are consistent with an overactive error control system in OCD subserving suppression of prepotent responses during decision-making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cognition Disorders / metabolism
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / metabolism
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / metabolism
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology*