New developments in human neurocognition: clinical, genetic, and brain imaging correlates of impulsivity and compulsivity (2014)

CNS Spectr. 2014 Feb;19(1):69-89. doi: 10.1017/S1092852913000801.


Fineberg NA1, Chamberlain SR2, Goudriaan AE3, Stein DJ4, Vanderschuren LJ5, Gillan CM6, Shekar S1, Gorwood PA7, Voon V6, Morein-Zamir S6, Denys D8, Sahakian BJ2, Moeller FG9, Robbins TW6, Potenza MN10.


Impulsivity and compulsivity represent useful conceptualizations that involve dissociable cognitive functions, which are mediated by neuroanatomically and neurochemically distinct components of cortico-subcortical circuitry. The constructs were historically viewed as diametrically opposed, with impulsivity being associated with risk-seeking and compulsivity with harm-avoidance. However, they are increasingly recognized to be linked by shared neuropsychological mechanisms involving dysfunctional inhibition of thoughts and behaviors. In this article, we selectively review new developments in the investigation of the neurocognition of impulsivity and compulsivity in humans, in order to advance our understanding of the pathophysiology of impulsive, compulsive, and addictive disorders and indicate new directions for research.