Visual attention in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Elliot Nelson, Terrence S. Early, John W. Haller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Performance on neuropsychological tasks was compared in 15 subjects with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and 15 age- and sex-matched psychiatrically screened control subjects. The tasks chosen are known from studies in other patient groups to demonstrate lateralized abnormalities of visual and limited capacity attentional impairment. The Posner task performance of the OCD group demonstrated decreased inhibition of return for left visual field targets and no inhibition of return for right visual field targets. The OCD group's spatial-linguistic conflict task responses were significantly slowed in the conflict condition, as predicted. The results are discussed in relation to the phenomenology of OCD and prior neuropsychological evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-196
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Anxiety disorder
  • cognition
  • depressed mood
  • neuropsychological deficits
  • perception
  • reaction time


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