Molecular genetics of attention

Bellgrove, Mark A. and Mattingley, Jason B. (2008) Molecular genetics of attention. Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1129 Molecular and Biophysical Mechanisms of Arousal: 200-212. doi:10.1196/annals.1417.013

Author Bellgrove, Mark A.
Mattingley, Jason B.
Title Molecular genetics of attention
Journal name Annals of the New York Academy of Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0077-8923
Publication date 2008-05-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1196/annals.1417.013
Open Access Status
Volume 1129
Issue Molecular and Biophysical Mechanisms of Arousal
Start page 200
End page 212
Total pages 13
Editor Douglas Braaten
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publisher Wiley- Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Language eng
Subject C1
170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
920410 Mental Health
Abstract The sequencing of the human genome and the identification of a vast array of DNA polymorphisms has afforded cognitive scientists with the opportunity to interrogate the genetic basis of cognition with renewed vigor. The extant literature on the molecular genetics of sustained and spatial attention is reviewed herein. Advances in our understanding of the neural substrates of sustained and spatial attention arising from the cognitive neurosciences can help guide putative linkages in cognitive genetics. In line with catecholamine models of sustained attention, associations have been reported between sustained attention and allelic variation in the dopamine beta hydroxylase gene (DBH), the dopamine D2 and D4 receptor genes (DRD2; DRD4) and the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1). Much evidence implicates the cholinergic system in spatial attention. Accordingly, individual differences in spatial attention have been associated with variation in an alpha-4 cholinergic receptor gene (CHRNA4). APOE-ɛ4 allele dosage has been shown to influence the speed of attentional reorienting in independent samples of nonaffected individuals. Preliminary evidence in both healthy children and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suggests and association with variants of the DAT1 gene and the control of spatial attention across the hemifields. With the recent development of high-throughput genotyping techniques, such as microarrays, the time seems ripe for a genomewide association study that can identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for sustained and spatial attention. The identification of QTLs for attention will provide a range of novel candidate genes for disorders of attention, such as ADHD and schizophrenia, and will drive cognitive neuroscientists to understand how DNA variation influences the neural substrates of attention.
Keyword attention
sustained attention
spatial attention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published Online: 28 Jun 2008

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 54 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 23:56:59 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of School of Psychology