An analysis of the associations between catecholamine neurotransmitter candidate genes and executive control

Elliot Lambert (2010). An analysis of the associations between catecholamine neurotransmitter candidate genes and executive control Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Elliot Lambert
Thesis Title An analysis of the associations between catecholamine neurotransmitter candidate genes and executive control
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Mark Bellgrove
Total pages 77
Abstract/Summary The executive control networks of the brain allow individuals to monitor and suppress stimulus evoked behaviours based on environmental cues. Variation in these processes between individuals is due, almost entirely, to differences at the genetic level. The current project used a candidate gene approach to compare allelic variation in genes which encode catecholamine neurotransmitter function and behavioural endophenotypes of executive control. The endophenotypes included in the study were response inhibition and conflict control. By showing a significant relationship between variation in these behavioural endophenotypes and individual differences at the genetic level it will be possible to ascertain which gene alleles are involved in variation of executive control function. The current study recruited a sample of 490 healthy, Caucasian, non-clinical participants who completed two computer based tasks designed to measure executive control processes and provided a saliva sample from which DNA was extracted. All known SNPs of the catecholamine candidate genes were included in the analysis. An allelic association analysis was conducted using an additive model to determine the associations between variation in the behavioural measures and number of copies of each allele. A significant correlation was found between a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the DRD2 gene and response inhibition and between a SNP in the NET1 gene and conflict control. These findings confirm and extend on the previous research that genes involved in the catecholamine neurotransmitter pathway are important to executive control processes.

 
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Created: Tue, 05 Apr 2011, 16:28:13 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology