It seems that the core neural regions and cognitive processes implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) pathophysiology may overlap with those involved in humor appreciation. However, to date, there have been no studies that have explored humor appreciation in OCD. The purpose of the present work was to investigate humor appreciation in a group of patients with OCD.
We examined 25 patients with OCD and 25 healthy controls, matched by age, education, and gender. We administered Penn's Humor Appreciation Test (PHAT), a computerized test comprising captionless cartoons by Mordillo. Each set of stimuli consisted of two almost identical drawings, one of which was funny due to the alteration of a detail in the cartoon, whereas the other was not funny. Severity of psychopathology was evaluated with the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS).
No significant effect for group, gender or group × gender interaction was found on the PHAT scores. In OCD patients, humor appreciation was not significantly associated with age of onset, duration of illness, and obsessions, but correlated significantly with compulsions.