The functional magnetic resonance imaging-based verbal fluency test in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Fu L. Woon, Mark D. Allen, Chris H. Miller, Dawson W. Hedges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Clinical use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is limited by a relative absence of fMRI task development, standardization, and normative performance databases. We investigated the fMRI-based verbal fluency test (f-VFT) by quantitatively evaluating brain activation patterns in OCD participants (8 females and 4 males) compared with a normative database (16 females and 16 males). At the group level, OCD participants and references had highly similar activation in left-hemisphere language regions, including the precentral/premotor cortex, thalamus, basal ganglia, and inferior frontal gyrus/frontal operculum. At the interindividual level, however, the OCD group had highly variable activation patterns in the dorsal and ventral regions of the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) that may correspond with differences in demographic and clinical variables. Further, there were significant correlations in the OCD participants between pre-SMA dorsal and ventral activation and between dorsal pre-SMA activation and perfectionism. Our findings suggest considerable functional anatomical overlap in left-hemisphere language regions between OCD participants and references but significantly higher pre-SMA interindividual variability in OCD compared to the reference group that may be relevant in clinical fMRI application and the theoretical understanding of OCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-440
Number of pages17
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Controlled oral word association test
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Functional neuroimaging
  • Individual differences
  • Neuropsychology
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Pre-supplementary motor area
  • Verbal fluency
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'The functional magnetic resonance imaging-based verbal fluency test in obsessive-compulsive disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this