The neurobiology of repetitive behavior: …and men

Marieke Langen, Sarah Durston, Martien J H Kas, Herman van Engeland, Wouter G Staal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


In young, typically developing children, repetitive behavior similar to that in certain neuropsychiatric syndromes is common. Whereas this behavior is adaptive in typical development, in many disorders it forms a core component of symptoms and causes prominent impairment in the daily life of affected individuals. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms involved repetitive behavior will improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders, stimulating novel approaches to these conditions. However, studies on the neurobiology of human repetitive behavior have often been limited to distinct conditions and generalization has been hindered by inconsistent terminology. In this paper, we synthesize the 'disorder-driven' literature, building on findings from fundamental animal research and translational models. These findings suggest a model for classifying repetitive behavior by its neuroanatomical correlates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-65
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Autistic Disorder
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Corpus Striatum
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease
  • Neural Pathways
  • Neurobiology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Stereotyped Behavior
  • Tourette Syndrome

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