Journal Article


Mark A. Bellgrove
Michael Gill
Ian H Robertson
Ciara M Greene



male trinucleotide repeat expansion young adult saliva 3 untranslated regions attention dopamine humans space perception dopamine plasma membrane transport proteins analysis of variance slc6a3 protein human perceptual disorders physiology dopamine beta hydroxylase physiopathology genotype adolescent female genetics metabolism terminal repeat sequences

Dopaminergic genotype influences spatial bias in healthy adults. (2009)

Abstract Asymmetries of spatial attention are observed in both clinical and non-clinical populations. While lesions of the right hemisphere frequently result in symptoms of left neglect (right bias), the opposite pattern is often observed in healthy subjects, a phenomenon known as pseudoneglect. Pharmacological and animal studies have suggested a critical role for the catecholamines, in particular dopamine and noradrenaline, in modulating the direction and magnitude of spatial attentional bias. In the present study we investigated the effect of two catecholaminergic genes, DBH and DAT1, on performance in the Landmark task, a perceptual measure of spatial bias. 204 healthy participants performed the Landmark task and were genotyped for the DBH C-1021T and DAT1 3'UTR variants. Homozygosity for the DBH T allele, which is associated with relatively increased dopamine and decreased noradrenaline levels, resulted in a significant increase in rightwards spatial bias relative to the C allele. Similarly, homozygosity for the DAT1 9-repeat allele, which is associated with reduced dopamine transporter density, and consequently increased dopamine availability relative to the 10-repeat allele, was found to result in a greater degree of rightward bias. An additive effect of the two markers was also observed, such that the greatest degree of rightward spatial bias was observed in participants who possessed the 'high dopamine' alleles of both genes and the lowest degree in those without these alleles. These results provide the first evidence of genetic modulation of spatial bias in healthy adults.
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Full list of authors on original publication

Mark A. Bellgrove, Michael Gill, Ian H Robertson, Ciara M Greene

Experts in our system

Mark A. Bellgrove
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 35
Michael Gill
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 260
Ian H Robertson
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 142
Ciara M. Greene
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 24