Behavioral and cognitive impulsivity in obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders

Psychiatry Res. 2012 Dec 30;200(2-3):1062-6. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.06.010. Epub 2012 Jun 30.


This study compared self-reported impulsivity and neurocognitively assessed response inhibition in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorder (ED), and healthy control participants. Participants completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), stop-signal reaction time task, and measures of OCD and ED symptomatology (Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale and Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire). Compared to controls, both clinical groups reported higher levels of impulsivity on the BIS-11 however; only the OCD demonstrated increased stop-signal reaction time. Heightened levels of self-reported impulsivity may reflect the experience of anxiety in both OCD and ED populations whereas a lack of inhibitory control may represent a specific behavioral deficit in OCD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reaction Time
  • Self Report