This research was supported in part by a grant to Dr. Towey from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH44815), RSDA awards to Dr. Hollander (MH00750) and Dr. Friedman (MH00510), and a Mental Health Clinical Research Center grant (NIMH 30906–14). A Faculty Development Award to Dr. Towey from Mercy College also provided some support.
Brain event-related potential correlates of overfocused attention in obsessive-compulsive disorder
Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2007
Volume 31, Issue 6, pages 535–543, November 1994
How to Cite
TOWEY, J. P., TENKE, C. E., BRUDER, G. E., LEITE, P., FRIEDMAN, D., LIEBOWITZ, M. and HOLLANDER, E. (1994), Brain event-related potential correlates of overfocused attention in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychophysiology, 31: 535–543. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1994.tb02346.x
- Issue online: 30 JAN 2007
- Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2007
- Received March 8, 1993; Accepted January 12, 1994
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder;
- Event-related potentials;
- Processing negativity;
- Overfocused attention
A hypothesis of overfocused attention in obsessive-compulsive disorder was investigated by measuring auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) during a selective attention task. Unmedicated patients (n= 18) with this disorder showed significantly larger attention-related processing negativity (PN), with earlier onset and longer duration, than did normal controls (n= 15). In the N200 region (160–250 ms), PN was larger in patients with fewer nonspecific neurological soft signs. This task, however, did not yield any group differences in mismatch negativity (N2a) or classical N200 (N2b). P300 amplitudes for attended targets were smaller for patient than normal groups, but the reverse was true for P300 and positive slow wave amplitudes for unattended nontargets. Collectively, these ERP abnormalities suggest a misallocation of cognitive resources. Because of the importance of the frontal lobe in the control of selective attention, PN enhancement in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder may reflect hyperactivation of this region. This conceptualization is consistent with recent functional neuroimaging findings.