Neuroanatomy of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders

David Mataix-Cols and Odile A. van den Heuvel

in The Oxford Handbook of Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Disorders

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195376210
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940561 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Neuroanatomy of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders

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  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) shares features and often co-occurs with other anxiety disorders, as well as with other psychiatric conditions classified elsewhere in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), the so-called “OCD spectrum disorders.” Neurobiologically, it is unclear how all these disorders relate to one another. The picture is further complicated by the clinical heterogeneity of OCD. This chapter will review the literature on the common and distinct neural correlates of OCD vis-à-vis other anxiety and “OCD spectrum” disorders. Furthermore, the question of whether partially distinct neural systems subserve the different symptom dimensions of OCD will be examined. Particular attention will be paid to hoarding, which is emerging as a distinct entity from OCD. Finally, new insights from cognitive and affective neuroscience will be reviewed before concluding with a summary and recommendations for future research.

Keywords: OCD; symptom dimensions; hoarding; anxiety disorders; Tourette’s syndrome; trichotillomania; body dysmorphic disorder; neuroimaging; neuroanatomy; brain.

Article.  12594 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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