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Difficulty in disengaging attention from washing stimuli in obsessive-compulsive disorder
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 14:46 authored by Mara S. da Victoria, Sharon Morein-Zamir, Ben J. Harrison, Murat Yücel, Valentina Lorenzetti, Pedro E. do Brasil, Chao Suo, Leonardo F. Fontenelle
Attentional bias to various stimuli related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) dimensions may differ. We investigated attentional biases to OCD-related dimensions in forty-four OCD patients and 49 healthy controls. They performed a dot probe task that incorporates visual stimuli depicting washing, checking, hoarding, ordering, taboo/shameful, and “neutralizing” themes. These pictures represented each of the OCD symptom dimensions according to the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised (OCI-R, Foa et al., 2002). Obsessive-compulsive, depressive and anxiety symptoms were assessed with the OCI-R, the Beck Depression Inventory and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. OCD patients had specific difficulties in disengaging attention from washing stimuli, measured by reaction times in msec. The attentional bias to washing stimuli was found separately in patients who were and who were not taking benzodiazepines. The fact that attentional bias may be present for only some OCD dimensions should be considered in future attention modification trials in OCD. Inability of benzodiazepines to reduce attentional bias was consistent with their lack of efficacy in OCD.
Publication titleEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology