- Love to win or hate to lose? Asymmetry of dopamine D2 receptor binding predicts sensitivity to reward vs. punishment
- Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
- Volume | Issue number
- 26 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Humans show consistent differences in the extent to which their behavior reflects a bias towards appetitive approach-related behavior or avoidance of aversive stimuli (Elliot, 2008). We examined the hypothesis that in healthy subjects this motivational bias (assessed by self-report and by a probabilistic learning task that allows direct comparison of the relative sensitivity to reward and punishment) reflects lateralization of dopamine signaling. Using [F-18]fallypride to measure D2/D3 binding , we found that self-reported motivational bias was predicted by the asymmetry of frontal D2 binding. Similarly, striatal and frontal asymmetries in D2 dopamine receptor binding, rather than absolute binding levels, predicted individual differences in learning from reward vs. punishment. These results suggest that normal variation in asymmetry of dopamine signaling may, in part, underlie human personality and cognition.
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