Executive function in traumatic brain injury and obsessive-compulsive disorder: An overlap?

Rudolf Coetzer, Dan J. Stein, Pieter L. Du Toit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Thirteen individuals with traumatic brain injury, 13 individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and 10 normal controls were compared on neuropsychological measures of executive function. Individuals with a traumatic brain injury performed significantly poorer than the other two groups on a test measuring visuo-spatial strategy. Although the traumatic brain injury group made more errors on a test of maze learning and the OCD group less than the control group, this did not reach statistical significance. No support for an overlap in executive dysfunction in traumatic brain injury and OCD was found. It may be that the 'error prevention system' in the brain was influenced in a contrasting way by executive dysfunction in these disorders. This difference may reveal itself clinically in impulsivity/perseveration and slowness, respectively. Further studies were needed to test this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain injury
  • Executive function
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder


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