Genomics | Medical Genetics | Cognitive Neuroscience | Neuronal Signaling Mechanisms | Neural Homeostasis
Carrot or stick? Impact of serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) polymorphism and reward and punishment signaling in the brain
Pamela Ng*, RJR Blair
*Corresponding author: Pamela Ng
National Institutes of Mental Health, National Institute of Health, , USA
School of Psychiatry, UNSW, , Australia
F1000Posters 2011, 2: 461 (poster) [ENGLISH]
Poster [500.32 KB]
66th Society of Biological Psychiatry Annual Meeting 2011, 11 - 13 May 2011, 1027
The serotonin system, in particular the 5HT transporter genotype (5-HTTLPR) has been extensively implicated in cognitive flexibility. However, its role in reward- and punishment-based processing remains unclear.
Fifty-five healthy participants (26 male, mean age = 30.89 +/- 7.87 years) were genotyped (21 LL, 21 SL, 13 SS), and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a probabilistic response reversal (PRR) task. During the task, participants must learn which of two neutral stimuli will lead to reward or punishment. Reinforcement contingencies are probabilistic such that the correct stimulus is rewarded 70% of the time, and punished 30% of the time. Halfway through a trial, the contingency changes so that the initially rewarded stimulus is now punished.
The SS allele was associated with increased BOLD responses to reward, while the LL variant was associated with increased BOLD response to punishment in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC)/BA9, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)/BA24, red nucleus and putamen.
Contrary to previous findings, our results indicate that the short allele was more sensitive to reward, while the long form was more sensitive to punishment in emotion regulatory areas such as dmPFC and ACC.
No relevant conflicts of interest declared.
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