Mapping Alterations of the Functional Structure of the Cerebral Cortex in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Jesus Pujol*, Laura Blanco-Hinojo, Dídac MacIá, Pino Alonso, Ben J. Harrison, Gerard Martínez-Vilavella, Joan Deus, José M. Menchón, Narcís Cardoner, Carles Soriano-Mas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We mapped alterations of the functional structure of the cerebral cortex using a novel imaging approach in a sample of 160 obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients. Whole-brain functional connectivity maps were generated using multidistance measures of intracortical neural activity coupling defined within isodistant local areas. OCD patients demonstrated neural activity desynchronization within the orbitofrontal cortex and in primary somatosensory, auditory, visual, gustatory, and olfactory areas. Symptom severity was significantly associated with the degree of functional structure alteration in OCD-relevant brain regions. By means of a novel imaging perspective, we once again identified brain alterations in the orbitofrontal cortex, involving areas purportedly implicated in the pathophysiology of OCD. However, our results also indicated that weaker intracortical activity coupling is also present in each primary sensory area. On the basis of previous neurophysiological studies, such cortical activity desynchronization may best be interpreted as reflecting deficient inhibitory neuron activity and altered sensory filtering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4753-4762
Number of pages10
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019


  • frontostriatal circuits
  • functional connectivity
  • inhibitory neurons
  • orbitofrontal cortex
  • sensory cortex


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