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Neurocircuit dynamics of arbitration between decision-making strategies across obsessive-compulsive and related disorders

Seok, Darsol and Tadayonnejad, Reza and Wong, Wan-wa and O'Neill, Joseph and Cockburn, Jeff and Bari, Ausaf A. and O'Doherty, John P. and Feusner, Jamie D. (2022) Neurocircuit dynamics of arbitration between decision-making strategies across obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. NeuroImage: Clinical, 35 . Art. No. 103073. ISSN 2213-1582. PMCID PMC9192960. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2022.103073.

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Obsessions and compulsions are central components of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and obsessive–compulsive related disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Compulsive behaviours may result from an imbalance of habitual and goal-directed decision-making strategies. The relationship between these symptoms and the neural circuitry underlying habitual and goal-directed decision-making, and the arbitration between these strategies, remains unknown. This study examined resting state effective connectivity between nodes of these systems in two cohorts with obsessions and compulsions, each compared with their own corresponding healthy controls: OCD (nOCD = 43; nhealthy = 24) and BDD (nBDD = 21; nhealthy = 16). In individuals with OCD, the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, a node of the arbitration system, exhibited more inhibitory causal influence over the left posterolateral putamen, a node of the habitual system, compared with controls. Inhibitory causal influence in this connection showed a trend for a similar pattern in individuals with BDD compared with controls. Those with stronger negative connectivity had lower obsession and compulsion severity in both those with OCD and those with BDD. These relationships were not evident within the habitual or goal-directed circuits, nor were they associated with depressive or anxious symptomatology. These results suggest that abnormalities in the arbitration system may represent a shared neural phenotype across these two related disorders that is specific to obsessive–compulsive symptoms. In addition to nosological implications, these results identify potential targets for novel, circuit-specific treatments.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Seok, Darsol0000-0002-6720-0539
Tadayonnejad, Reza0000-0002-4665-6721
Wong, Wan-wa0000-0003-4829-2842
Cockburn, Jeff0000-0003-2004-8653
Bari, Ausaf A.0000-0002-5279-5023
O'Doherty, John P.0000-0003-0016-3531
Feusner, Jamie D.0000-0002-0391-345X
Additional Information:© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( Received 5 March 2022, Revised 11 May 2022, Accepted 31 May 2022, Available online 4 June 2022, Version of Record 8 June 2022. This work was funded by NIMH grants R01MH085900 (JO and JF), R21MH110865 (JF), R01MH121520 (JF), K23MH116117 (RT), and R01MH121089 (RT) and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation grant NARSAD-27111 (RT). The authors would like to thank the participants for their time. Author contributions: DS: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Visualization, Writing - original draft, Writing - review & editing. RT: Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Supervision, Writing - review & editing. WW: Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Supervision, Writing - review & editing. JO'N: Funding acquisition, Writing - review & editing. JC: Writing - review & editing. AB: Writing - review & editing. JO'D: Conceptualization, Writing - review & editing. JF: Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Resources, Supervision, Writing - review & editing. All authors gave final approval and agree to be accountable to all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. The authors declare the following financial interests/personal relationships which may be considered as potential competing interests: JF has received consultant fees from NOCD, Inc. All other authors have nothing to disclose.
Group:Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Brain and Behavior Research FoundationNARSAD-27111
Subject Keywords:Obsessive-compulsive disorder; Body dysmorphic disorder; Habitual decision-making; Arbitration circuit; Dynamic effective connectivity
PubMed Central ID:PMC9192960
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220606-736002000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Darsol Seok, Reza Tadayonnejad, Wan-wa Wong, Joseph O'Neill, Jeff Cockburn, Ausaf A. Bari, John P. O'Doherty, Jamie D. Feusner, Neurocircuit dynamics of arbitration between decision-making strategies across obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, NeuroImage: Clinical, Volume 35, 2022, 103073, ISSN 2213-1582,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:115027
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:07 Jun 2022 19:52
Last Modified:30 Jun 2022 18:09

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