DAT1 Polymorphism Determines L-DOPA Effects on Learning about Others' Prosociality

Eisenegger, Christoph and Pedroni, Andreas and Rieskamp, Jörg and Zehnder, Christian and Ebstein, Richard and Fehr, Ernst and Knoch, Daria. (2013) DAT1 Polymorphism Determines L-DOPA Effects on Learning about Others' Prosociality. PLoS ONE, Vol. 8, H. 7 , e67820.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6164903

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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.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Sozial-, Wirtschafts- und Entscheidungspsychologie > Economic Psychology (Rieskamp)
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Social and Affective Neuroscience (Knoch)
UniBasel Contributors:Pedroni, Andreas and Rieskamp, Jörg
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Public Library of Science
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:31 Aug 2018 06:39
Deposited On:25 Oct 2013 08:33

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