Influences of COMT and 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms on cognitive flexibility in healthy women: inhibition of prepotent responses and memory updating

Understanding genetic factors that affect monoamine neurotransmitters flux in prefrontal cortex may help to further specify the complex neurobiological processes that underlie cognitive function and dysfunction in health and illness. The current study examined the associations between the polymorphisms of dopaminergic (COMT Met158Val) and serotoninergic (5-HTTLPR) genes and the sequential pattern of responses in a motor random generation task providing well-established indexes for executive functioning in a large sample of 255 healthy women. Participants homozygous for the Met allele of the COMT polymorphism showed impaired inhibition of prepotent responses, whereas individuals homozygous for the s-allele of the 5-HTTLPR showed a restricted ability to update information in working memory. Taken together the results indicate differentiated influences of dopaminergic and serotonergic genes on important and definite executive sub-processes related to cognitive flexibility.
PLoS One 2014 9:e85506
PubMed: 24465579
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