Examining the influence of the dopamine D2 agonist, cabergoline, on measures of response inhibition and error awareness

Cassandra Messer (2011). Examining the influence of the dopamine D2 agonist, cabergoline, on measures of response inhibition and error awareness Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Cassandra Messer
Thesis Title Examining the influence of the dopamine D2 agonist, cabergoline, on measures of response inhibition and error awareness
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Associate Professor Mark Bellgrove
Total pages 81
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Two executive functions which are highly important to human cognition and behaviour, are response inhibition and error awareness. Both processes are necessary for successful interactions in our day to day lives, and allow for flexible and adaptive behaviours. Our understanding of the pharmacological modulation of response inhibition and error awareness remains incomplete. Previous research using the indirect dopamine agonist methylphenidate has proposed a role for dopamine in the inhibition of responses and awareness of errors. However, as methylphenidate increases levels of both dopamine and noradrenaline, the evidence has been inconclusive in deciding whether the effect is due to the increase in dopamine or if noradrenaline has a substantial impact. The present study aimed to determine if the direct D2 agonist, cabergoline, would improve response inhibition and error awareness, as measured by the stop-signal paradigm and error awareness task. Twenty-five, right handed, Caucasian males were tested using a within-subjects, double-blind, placebo-controlled design. In line with past evidence, it is predicted that the direct D2 agonist, cabergoline, will improve measures of error awareness and response inhibition when compared to a placebo condition. The hypotheses were supported, with cabergoline found to increase both response inhibition and error awareness performance. These results have implications for the treatment of several psychiatric conditions, including; attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Keyword Response inhibition
Error awareness
Influence of dopomine D2 agonist

 
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