Influence of Serotonin Transporter Genotype and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism on Recognition of Emotional Faces

Defrancesco,M.; Niederstätter,H.; Parson,W.; Oberacher,H.; Hinterhuber,H.; Canazei,M.; Bidner,J.; Deisenhammer,E.A.; Kemmler,G.; Weiss,E.M.; Marksteiner,J.
Monoamines, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, play a crucial role in the regulation of emotion processing and mood. In this study, we investigated how polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) influence emotion recognition abilities. We recruited 88 female undergraduate students and assessed 5-HTT genotype and the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. The subjects completed two computerized tasks: The Penn Emotion Recognition Test (ER40) and the Penn Emotion Acuity Test (PEAT). For the ER40, we found that s-allele carriers performed significantly worse in the recognition of happy faces, but did better in the recognition of fearful faces, compared with homozygous l-carriers of the 5-HTT gene. Neither 5-HTT nor COMT genotypes influenced the ability to discriminate between different intensities of sadness or happiness on the PEAT. Moreover, there was no significant interaction between the two polymorphisms in their effect on performance on the ER40 or the PEAT. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1-7)
J.Int Neuropsychol.Soc. 2011 17:1014-1020
Tags: Austria; female; GENE; genotype; PERFORMANCE; polymorphism
PubMed: 22013977
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