Neuroimaging research has shown that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may present brain structural and functional alterations, but the results across imaging modalities and task paradigms are difficult to reconcile. Are the same brain systems that are structurally different in OCD patients also involved in executive function and emotional processing? To answer this, we conducted separate meta-analyses of voxel-based morphometry studies, executive function functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, and emotional processing fMRI studies. Next, with a multimodal approach (conjunction analysis), we identified the common alterations across meta-analyses. Patients presented increased gray matter volume and hyperactivation in the putamen, but the putamen subregions affected differed depending on the psychological process. Left posterior/dorsal putamen showed hyperactivation during executive processing tasks, while predominantly right anterior/ventral putamen showed hyperactivation during emotional processing tasks. Interestingly, age was significantly associated with increased right putamen volume. Finally, the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was hyperactive in both functional domains. Our findings highlight task-specific correlates of brain structure and function in OCD and help integrate a growing literature.
- Emotional processing
- Executive functioning
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Voxel-based morphometry