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Stanford Medicine's OCD page says that

Many investigators have contributed to the hypothesis that OCD involves dysfunction in a neuronal loop running from the orbital frontal cortex to the cingulate gyrus, striatum (cuadate nucleus and putamen), globus pallidus, thalamus and back to the frontal cortex.

What is a neuronal loop? I have looked it up on DuckDuckGo with no usable results.

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The answer is right in the second half of the sentence:

running from the orbital frontal cortex to the cingulate gyrus, striatum (cuadate nucleus and putamen), globus pallidus, thalamus and back to the frontal cortex

Orbital frontal cortex, cingulate gyrus, striatum, globus pallidus, thalamus, and back to (orbital) frontal cortex: these are all different brain regions. If A connects to B, B connects to C, C connects to D, D connects to E, and E connects back to A, you've made a loop.

The page is saying that there is a hypothesis that there is dysfunction somewhere along this loop in OCD; it doesn't say where exactly, but you can infer that changing something along this path would affect all of the other regions connected in the loop in some way, because they are all causally related to one another.

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  • $\begingroup$ @ds_secret I rejected your suggested edit because the source does not use the word "cause" with respect to this pathway. It may be implied, but I'm not going to put words in their mouth: they are likely using this language intentionally because they have mostly correlational evidence for the relationship rather than causal evidence. Causality is very difficult to show in psychology/psychiatry. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Apr 17 '20 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ The website states "In the section below, we have outlined a more detailed description of the various theories and hypotheses involved in the biological basis of OCD." $\endgroup$ – ds_secret Apr 17 '20 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ @ds_secret "The biological basis" is not the same as "cause". They are very closely related, may sometimes be treated as "cause", and it's okay if you want to provisionally treat it as evidence for "cause", but I'm not going to use that word. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Apr 17 '20 at 19:06

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