Repetitive behavior is a core symptom of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and has been associated with impairments in cognitive control. However, it is unclear how cognitive control and associated neural circuitry relate to the development of repetitive behavior in children with these disorders. In a multicenter, longitudinal study (TACTICS; Translational Adolescent and Childhood Therapeutic Interventions in Compulsive Syndromes), the development of cognitive control was assessed during late childhood using a longitudinal fMRI design with a modified stop-signal task in children with ASD or OCD, and typically developing (TD) children (baseline: N = 95 (8-12 y), follow-up: N = 53 (10-14 y), average interval: 1.48 y (sd: 0.36, range: 0.98–2.52 y). Stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) decreased over development, regardless of diagnosis. Repetitive behavior in children with ASD and OCD was not associated with performance on the stop-signal task. There were no whole-brain between-group differences in brain activity, but ROI-analyses showed increases in activity in right precentral gyrus over development for children with OCD. In sum, even though subtle differences were observed in the development of brain activity in children with OCD, overall the findings suggest that the development of cognitive control, as assessed by the stop signal task, is similar to typical in children with ASD and OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100015
JournalNeuroimage: Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cognitive control
  • fMRI
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Repetitive behavior


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