A new journal report by experts at Nara Institute of Science and Technology unveiled a new model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) based on a theorized imbalanced learning between reinforcement and punishment. The study was published in Cell Reports.
OCD is a psychological disorder involving anxiety, compulsions, and intrusive and repetitious thoughts.
In the research, 45 patients with OCD exhibited imbalanced learning parameters associated with the model. The authors emphasized in their report that serotonin enhancers may normalize imbalanced learning parameters in OCD.
“In this study, we model obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms as implicitly learned maladaptive behaviors,” according to the study’s authors.
“Using empirical data, we confirm that patients with OCD show extremely imbalanced traces, which are normalized by serotonin enhancers. We find that healthy participants also vary in their obsessive-compulsive tendencies, consistent with the degree of imbalanced traces.”
“These behavioral characteristics can be generalized to variations in the healthy population beyond the spectrum of clinical phenotypes,” the authors determined.