The signal attenuation rat model of obsessive-compulsive disorder: A review

Daphna Joel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


During the last 30 years, there have been many attempts to develop animal models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), in the hope that they may provide a route for furthering our understanding and treatment of this disorder. The present paper reviews a recently developed rat model of OCD, namely, signal attenuation. Results of pharmacological and lesion studies are presented and evaluated with respect to the pharmacology and pathophysiology of OCD. It is argued that signal attenuation is a rat model of OCD with construct (derived from similarity in the underlying mechanisms), predictive (derived from similarity in response to treatment), and face (derived from phenomenological similarity between "compulsive" behavior in the model and compulsions in OCD patients) validity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-503
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Animal model
  • Compulsive lever-pressing


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