Individual differences in extraversion and dopamine genetics predict neural reward responses

Michael X. Cohen, Jennifer Young, Jong Min Baek, Christopher Kessler, Charan Ranganath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations

Abstract

Psychologists have linked the personality trait extraversion both to differences in reward sensitivity and to dopamine functioning, but little is known about how these differences are reflected in the functioning of the brain's dopaminergic neural reward system. Here, we show that individual differences in extraversion and the presence of the A1 allele on the dopamine D2 receptor gene predict activation magnitudes in the brain's reward system during a gambling task. In two functional MRI experiments, participants probabilistically received rewards either immediately following a behavioral response (Study 1) or after a 7.5 s anticipation period (Study 2). Although group activation maps revealed anticipation- and reward-related activations in the reward system, individual differences in extraversion and the presence of the D2 Taq1A allele predicted a significant amount of inter-subject variability in the magnitudes of reward-related, but not anticipation-related, activations. These results demonstrate a link between stable differences in personality, genetics, and brain functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-861
Number of pages11
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • Dopamine
  • Extraversion
  • fMRI
  • Genetics
  • Personality
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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