Comparison of brain activation patterns during executive function tasks in hoarding disorder and non-hoarding OCD

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2016 Sep 30:255:50-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.07.007. Epub 2016 Jul 12.


We examined differences in regional brain activation during tests of executive function in individuals with Hoarding Disorder (HD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and healthy controls (HC) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants completed computerized versions of the Stroop and Go/No-Go task. We found that during the conflict monitoring and response inhibition condition in the Go/No-Go task, individuals with HD had significantly greater activity than controls in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). HD also exhibited significantly greater right DLPFC activity than OCD. We also observed significant differences in activity between HD and HC and between HD and OCD in regions (ACC, anterior insula, orbitofrontal cortex, and striatum) involved in evaluating stimulus-response-reward associations, or the personal and task-relevant value of stimuli and behavioral responses to stimuli. These results support the hypothesis that individuals with HD have difficulty deciding on the value or task relevance of stimuli, and may perceive an abnormally high risk of negative feedback for difficult or erroneous cognitive behavior.

Keywords: Conflict monitoring; Go/No-go; Hoarding disorder; Neuroimaging; Response inhibition; Stroop; fMRI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hoarding / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hoarding / psychology
  • Hoarding Disorder / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hoarding Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnostic imaging*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology