The findings are reported by Dr. Georgina Jackson and colleagues at the University of Nottingham, UK in the March 21st issue of Current Biology.
Tourette's syndrome is a developmental disorder that typically occurs during late childhood and is characterized by the presence of chronic vocal and motor tics. Tics are involuntary, repetitive, highly stereotyped behaviors that occur with a limited duration, typically occur many times during a single day, and occur on most days. Motor tics can be simple or complex in appearance, ranging from simple repetitive movements to coordinated action sequences. Verbal tics may involve repeating words or utterances (palilalia), producing inappropriate or obscene utterances (coprolalia), or the repetition of another's words (echolalia). Understanding the psychological processes and neural mechanisms that give rise to the execution of tics is of considerable clinical importance. A widely held view is that the inability to suppress unwanted movements in Tourette's syndrome results from a failure of cognitive control mechanisms.
In the new work, Dr. Jackson and colleagues studied cognitive control mechanisms in a group of young people with Tourette's syndrome (TS) by assessing the performance of individuals on a goal-oriented eye-movement task. The task demanded high levels of voluntary control and the acti
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