Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Adams


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition characterized by intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and ritualistic behaviors (compulsions) profoundly impacting daily functioning and quality of life. Neuroimaging studies using various techniques have revealed inconsistent resting cerebral blood flow (rCBF) patterns in OCD patients, particularly within the cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuit and sensorimotor network. Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL) MRI offers a promising, noninvasive method for directly measuring rCBF. This study, using data from the Yale HCP Trio study, analyzed unmedicated OCD patients and healthy controls, who underwent two consecutive resting pulsed-ASL scans. OCD patients with lower obsessional severity exhibited higher perfusion in the pre- and postcentral gyri, indicating potential sensorimotor circuit dysregulation. However, no other results survived FDR correction. Interestingly, highly obsessional OCD patients did not show increased sensorimotor perfusion, relative to HCs, suggesting potential differences in cognitive processes during rest (e.g., obsessing, rather than mind-wandering). Future investigations should explore perfusion differences across OCD severity levels, considering individual differences in obsession type and cognitive processes at rest to better characterize group differences in rCBF.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)