Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 114, Issue 12, pp 1595–1601

Executive control in obsessive-compulsive disorder: event-related potentials in a Go/Nogo task


  • M. Ruchsow
    • Department of PsychiatryChristophsbad
  • K. Reuter
    • Department of Rehabilitative NeurologyHumaine Klinik
  • L. Hermle
    • Department of PsychiatryChristophsbad
  • D. Ebert
    • Department of PsychiatryChristophsbad
  • M. Kiefer
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Ulm
  • M. Falkenstein
    • Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors

DOI: 10.1007/s00702-007-0779-4

Cite this article as:
Ruchsow, M., Reuter, K., Hermle, L. et al. J Neural Transm (2007) 114: 1595. doi:10.1007/s00702-007-0779-4


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been related to a hyperactive cortico-striatal-pallidal-thalamic circuitry resulting clinically in an impaired inhibition of repetitive thoughts and behaviors. We examined thirteen patients with OCD and thirteen age-, sex-, and education matched healthy controls using event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants performed a hybrid flanker-Go/Nogo task while multichannel EEG was recorded. Our study focused on two ERP components: the Nogo-N2 and the Nogo-P3, which have been discussed in the context of response inhibition and response conflict. Artifact-free EEG-segments were used to compute ERPs on correct Go trials (button press) and correct Nogo trials (no button press), separately. Patients with OCD showed enhanced (more negative) Nogo-N2 amplitudes than controls, and a significant difference in amplitudes between Nogo-N2 and Go-N2 trials (more negative for Nogo trials) at central midline electrode positions. However, groups did not differ with regard to the Nogo-P3 and Go-P3. The present study replicates and extends previous findings of altered executive control processes in OCD patients.

Keywords: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); executive control processes; Nogo-N2; Nogo-P3

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007