Self-reported and neurocognitive impulsivity in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Ilana Frydman, Paulo Mattos, Ricardo de Oliveira-Souza, Murat Yücel, Samuel R. Chamberlain, Jorge Moll, Leonardo F. Fontenelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Although a behavioural addiction model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been proposed, it is still unclear if and how self-report and neurocognitive measures of impulsivity (such as risk-taking-, reflection- and motor-impulsivities) are impaired and/or inter-related in this particular clinical population. Methods: Seventeen OCD patients and 17 age-, gender-, education- and IQ-matched controls completed the Barratt Impulsivity Scale, the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised, and the Beck Depression Inventory and were evaluated with the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale and three computerized paradigms including reward (the Cambridge Gambling Task), reflection (the Information Sampling Task) and motor impulsivity (Stop Signal Task). Results: Despite not differing from healthy controls in any neurocognitive impulsivity domain, OCD patients demonstrated increased impulsivity in a self-report measure (particularly attentional impulsivity). Further, attentional impulsivity was predicted by severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that OCD is characterized by a subjective (rather than objective) impulsivity; in addition, self-reported impulsivity was largely determined by severity of OCD symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152155
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Behavioural addiction
  • Compulsivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Neurocognition
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Cite this