Looking for reward in all the wrong places: dopamine receptor gene polymorphisms indirectly affect aggression through sensation-seeking.

TitleLooking for reward in all the wrong places: dopamine receptor gene polymorphisms indirectly affect aggression through sensation-seeking.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
JournalSocial neuroscience
Volume11
Issue5
Pagination487-94
ISSN1747-0919
Abstract

Individuals with genotypes that code for reduced dopaminergic brain activity often exhibit a predisposition toward aggression. However, it remains largely unknown how dopaminergic genotypes may increase aggression. Lower-functioning dopamine systems motivate individuals to seek reward from external sources such as illicit drugs and other risky experiences. Based on emerging evidence that aggression is a rewarding experience, we predicted that the effect of lower-functioning dopaminergic functioning on aggression would be mediated by tendencies to seek the environment for rewards. Caucasian female and male undergraduates (N = 277) were genotyped for five polymorphisms of the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene; they reported their previous history of aggression and their dispositional reward-seeking. Lower-functioning DRD2 profiles were associated with greater sensation-seeking, which then predicted greater aggression. Our findings suggest that lower-functioning dopaminergic activity puts individuals at risk for violence because it motivates them to experience aggression's hedonically rewarding qualities.

DOI10.1080/17470919.2015.1119191
Short TitleSoc Neurosci
X
Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected

Loading