Negative priming for obsessive-compulsive checkers and noncheckers. Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Negative priming--the slowing of a response to an item that was recently ignored--was investigated in three groups: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) checkers, OCD noncheckers, and nonclinical control participants. All groups performed both a standard negative priming task, selecting targets based on a perceptual feature (i.e., color), and a modified negative priming task, selecting targets based on a semantic feature (i.e., referent size). All three groups demonstrated significant negative priming in both tasks, although the negative priming was much larger in the novel, semantic task than in the common, perceptual one. The findings suggest that patients with OCD do not demonstrate impairments in negative priming, contrary to earlier claims (Enright & Beech, 1990, 1993a, 1993b; Enright, Beech, & Claridge, 1995).


  • MacDonald, Penny A
  • Antony, Martin
  • MacLeod, Colin M
  • Swinson, Richard P

publication date

  • 1999