Probing implicit learning in obsessive-compulsive disorder: Moderating role of medication on the weather prediction task

Benjamin Kelmendi, Thomas Adams, Ewgeni Jakubovski, Keith A. Hawkins, Vladimir Coric, Christopher Pittenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Deficits in implicit learning, a process by which knowledge is acquired accretively through practice independent of conscious awareness, have been implicated in Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The weather-prediction task (WPT) was used to assess implicit learning in 26 unmedicated patients with OCD and 23 healthy controls. An additional analysis compared these two groups with 25 medicated patients with OCD. In the comparison of unmedicated patients with healthy controls there was a subtle but statistically significant group-by-block interaction. Patients with OCD showed slower improvement in performance during the middle phase of learning. In a three-group comparison, there was no main effect of group; in post-hoc tests, medicated patients with OCD differed from unmedicated patients and were not different from healthy controls. Unmedicated patients with OCD have a subtle deficit in implicit learning in the WPT. This may be mitigated by pharmacotherapy, although prospective studies would be required to confirm this conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of Michael Bloch, MD, Suzanne Wasylink, RN-C, Eileen Billingslea, MA, and Lisa Sander, MD, in the recruitment and characterization of the participants described in this study. This work was supported by NIH grant K08MH081190 and by the State of Connecticut through its support of the Ribicoff Research Facilities at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. We thank Barbara Knowlton for providing the Weather Prediction Task.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • Implicit learning
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Weather prediction task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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