Cognitive inflexibility in a young woman with pyromania

Austin W. Blum, Brian L. Odlaug, Jon E. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Pyromania is a rare disorder that is characterized by multiple episodes of deliberate and purposeful firesetting. It is typically associated with significant psychosocial dysfunction and legal problems. Even so, little research has examined cognitive aspects of the disorder. Case presentation/study: In this study, we compared a 24-year-old woman with pyromania with 19 age- and gender-matched healthy controls using a battery of computerized neurocognitive tasks. Our participant affected by pyromania showed impaired cognitive flexibility but intact functioning on measures of impulsive action and decision-making. Discussion: Although pyromania shares phenomenological similarities with other urge-driven disorders, our results suggest that pyromania may have features of compulsivity as well. Conclusions: Pyromania is relatively understudied from a neurobiological perspective. Further research is needed to understand the pathophysiology, classification, and treatment of pyromania.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-191
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Forensic
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Neurocognition
  • Pyromania


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