Response inhibition to emotional faces in childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder
Background and objectives Evidence regarding the role of response inhibition in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is inconsistent. Most prior research has examined response inhibition to emotionally neutral stimuli or task demands. Given that OCD is characterised by distress due to unpleasant and undesirable thoughts/images and compulsive behaviours, this study examined response inhibition to emotional stimuli in children with OCD compared to healthy controls. Methods Children with OCD (N=12) and controls (N=15) completed an emotional Go/No Go task in which they responded on some trials (i.e., Go trials) when neutral faces were presented amongst angry or happy faces to which children were instructed to avoid responding (i.e., No Go trials) or when angry and happy faces were presented as Go trials and children were instructed to avoid responding to neutral faces. Results Children with OCD made more false presses on No Go trials than healthy controls, regardless of emotional expression. This was not due to a speed-accuracy trade-off. There were no significant group differences on Go trials. Limitations The sample size was small and the emotional Go/No Go task did not include a neutral condition. Conclusions Results are discussed in terms of response inhibition deficits in childhood OCD.
Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified