Barbara Basile1, 2, Francesco Mancini2, Emiliano Macaluso3, Carlo Caltagirone4, Marco Bozzali5
1Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome , Italy, Italy; 2School of Cognitive Psychotherapy, Rome, Italy; 3Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy; 4Clinical and Behavioral Neurology, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy, Italy; 5Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy, Italy
Guilt plays a role in the occurrence and maintenance of obsessive compulsive disorder (ODC). In this fMRI study we investigated, for the first time, the processing of deontological and altruistic guilt in a sample of OCD patients compared to healthy controls. Main finding was a pattern of reduced activation in frontal/insular areas (previously shown to be implicated in the normal processing of guilt) of OCD patients while experiencing guilty feelings, especially of deontological type. A reduced inhibitory control of higher level structures in OCD brains might account for a abnormal emotion processing, and explain some clinical features of the disease.