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DAT1 polymorphism determines L-DOPA effects on learning about others’ prosociality


Eisenegger, Christoph; Pedroni, Andreas; Rieskamp, Jörg; Zehnder, Christian; Ebstein, Richard; Fehr, Ernst; Knoch, Daria (2013). DAT1 polymorphism determines L-DOPA effects on learning about others’ prosociality. PLoS ONE, 8(7):e67820.

Abstract

Despite that a wealth of evidence links striatal dopamine to individualś reward learning performance in non-social environments, the neurochemical underpinnings of such learning during social interaction are unknown. Here, we show that the administration of 300 mg of the dopamine precursor L-DOPA to 200 healthy male subjects influences learning about a partners’ prosocial preferences in a novel social interaction task, which is akin to a repeated trust game. We found learning to be modulated by a well-established genetic marker of striatal dopamine levels, the 40-bp variable number tandem repeats polymorphism of the dopamine transporter (DAT1 polymorphism). In particular, we found that L-DOPA improves learning in 10/10R genoype subjects, who are assumed to have lower endogenous striatal dopamine levels and impairs learning in 9/10R genotype subjects, who are assumed to have higher endogenous dopamine levels. These findings provide first evidence for a critical role of dopamine in learning whether an interaction partner has a prosocial or a selfish personality. The applied pharmacogenetic approach may open doors to new ways of studying psychiatric disorders such as psychosis, which is characterized by distorted perceptions of others’ prosocial attitudes.

Abstract

Despite that a wealth of evidence links striatal dopamine to individualś reward learning performance in non-social environments, the neurochemical underpinnings of such learning during social interaction are unknown. Here, we show that the administration of 300 mg of the dopamine precursor L-DOPA to 200 healthy male subjects influences learning about a partners’ prosocial preferences in a novel social interaction task, which is akin to a repeated trust game. We found learning to be modulated by a well-established genetic marker of striatal dopamine levels, the 40-bp variable number tandem repeats polymorphism of the dopamine transporter (DAT1 polymorphism). In particular, we found that L-DOPA improves learning in 10/10R genoype subjects, who are assumed to have lower endogenous striatal dopamine levels and impairs learning in 9/10R genotype subjects, who are assumed to have higher endogenous dopamine levels. These findings provide first evidence for a critical role of dopamine in learning whether an interaction partner has a prosocial or a selfish personality. The applied pharmacogenetic approach may open doors to new ways of studying psychiatric disorders such as psychosis, which is characterized by distorted perceptions of others’ prosocial attitudes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:03 Nov 2014 09:45
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 07:53
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0067820
PubMed ID:23861813

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