A Computational Approach for the Assessment of Executive Functions in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Previous studies on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) showed impairments in executive domains, particularly in cognitive inhibition. In this perspective, the use of virtual reality showed huge potential in the assessment of executive functions; however, unfortunately, to date, no study on the assessment of these patients took advantage of the use of virtual environments. One of the main problems faced within assessment protocols is the use of a limited number of variables and tools when tailoring a personalized program. The main aim of this study was to provide a heuristic decision tree for the future development of tailored assessment protocols. To this purpose, we conducted a study that involved 58 participants (29 OCD patients and 29 controls) to collect both classic neuropsychological data and precise data based on a validated protocol in virtual reality for the assessment of executive functions, namely, the VMET (virtual multiple errands test). In order to provide clear indications for working on executive functions with these patients, we carried out a cross-validation based on three learning algorithms and computationally defined two decision trees. We found that, by using three neuropsychological tests and two VMET scores, it was possible to discriminate OCD patients from controls, opening a novel scenario for future assessment protocols based on virtual reality and computational techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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