Can Patients With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Discriminate Between Percepts and Mental Images? A Signal Detection Analysis

Halle D. Brown*, Stephen M. Kosslyn, Hans C. Breiter, Lee Baer, Michael A. Jenike

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Signal detection analysis was used to test three hypotheses for repetitive thoughts and behaviors characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Patients might have (a) low sensitivity for the difference between having seen something or having imagined seeing it, (b) a high criterion for this discrimination, or (c) difficulty associating context with information in memory. Subjects judged viewed words or imagined words and later indicated which were actually seen. Patients with OCD discriminated seen from imaged words significantly better than normal control subjects, as evidenced by higher d' scores on a recognition memory task. Groups did not differ in response criterion, β, used to decide whether words had been seen or imaged. Implications for the study of OCD from an information-processing perspective are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-454
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume103
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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