A meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Stephen P. Whiteside, John D. Port, Jonathan S. Abramowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

351 Scopus citations


Recent neurobiological models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) posit that a dysfunction in orbitofrontal-subcortical circuitry underlies the etiology of this disorder. Much of the empirical support for these theories comes from studies using neuroimaging techniques to compare brain activity in OCD patients with that in non-OCD controls. Qualitative reviews of this literature implicate the orbitofrontal cortex, caudate nuclei, and thalamus. In this study, a meta-analysis was conducted to summarize the results of studies using positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to investigate brain activity in OCD. Results suggest that differences in radiotracer uptake between patients with OCD and healthy controls have been found consistently in the orbital gyrus and the head of the caudate nucleus. No other significant differences were found. The implications of these results for theories regarding the etiology of OCD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 15 2004


  • Caudate nucleus
  • Literature review
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Single photon emission computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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