Neurofeedback using functional near-infrared spectroscopy
This study will use near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure brain activity during neurofeedback. The purpose of neurofeedback is to teach people to improve self-regulation by learning to regulate brain activity. A NIRS cap designed to detect activity in specific brain regions is placed on the head. Information on this brain activity is then “fed back” to the person in the form of waves displayed on a computer screen. A person will try to regulate their brain activity by using different cognitive strategies to move the waves up and down. Although this is not a treatment study, it may lead to improvement in controlling brain activity.
Exploring the genetics of OCD
It is clear that the risk for developing OCD depends in part on our genes; but the specific genes that contribute to OCD, and how they do so, are not well understood. Patients who we see in our clinic have the opportunity to give blood for genetic analysis. By comparing the specific genes of patients with OCD with other patients or with individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis, we hope to better understand the various complicated factors that contribute to the genetics of the illness.