The cognitive neuropsychiatry of Tourette syndrome


Introduction: Converging evidence from both clinical and experimental studies has shown that Tourette syndrome (TS) is not a unitary condition, but a cluster of multiple phenotypes, which encompass both tics and specific behavioural and cognitive symptoms (mainly attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder). Methods: We conducted a narrative review of the recent literature on the cognitive neuropsychiatry of TS. Results: Although clinical research has shown that TS is not associated with cognitive deficits per se, the findings of recent studies have suggested the presence of subtle alterations in specific cognitive functions. A promising line of research on imitative behaviour could provide a common background for the alterations in executive control and social cognition observed in TS. Two different (but not mutually exclusive) neurocognitive theories have recently suggested that TS could originate from altered perception-action binding and social decision-making dysfunction, respectively. Conclusions: Since the presence of behavioural comorbidities influences individualised treatment approaches, it is likely that a more precise characterisation of TS phenotypes, including cognitive aspects, will result in improved levels of care for patients with tic disorders.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Cognitive Neuropsychiatry on 6 May 2020, available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder,behaviour,cognitive neuropsychiatry,health-related quality of life,obsessive-compulsive disorder,perception-action binding,premonitory urges,social decision-making,tics,Tourette syndrome,Cognitive Neuroscience,Psychiatry and Mental health
Publication ISSN: 1464-0619
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.tan ... rnalCode=pcnp20 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Review article
Published Date: 2020-07-03
Published Online Date: 2020-05-06
Accepted Date: 2020-04-21
Authors: Cavanna, Andrea E.
Ganos, Christos
Hartmann, Andreas
Martino, Davide
Pringsheim, Tamara
Seri, Stefano (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-9247-8102)



Version: Accepted Version

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