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Dopaminergic gene–stress interactions on young adults’ driving performance: A pilot studydoi="10.1016/j.paid.2013.07.052" aid="5864.32"

Authors
Journal
Personality and Individual Differences
0191-8869
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
60
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2013.07.052
Disciplines
  • Law

Abstract

Driving requires the integration of executive functions involving brain dopaminergic pathways. The A1 allele of the DRD2/ANKK1 gene (rs1800497) is associated with decreased striatal D2 dopamine receptor density and with executive function deficits. Stress affects brain dopamine activity and moderates effects of dopaminergic genes on executive function. This pilot study experimentally manipulated acute psychosocial stress between groups to investigate the interaction between A1 allelic status and induced stress on driving simulator performance in 71 young drivers. ANOVAs showed significant interactions between A1 status and stress condition on highway driving speeds and speed variability, with A1+ drivers driving at lower speeds and with less variability under stress than under rest. In contrast, A1− drivers showed no differences between stress conditions. Results of cortisol analysis further suggest that the A1 allele confers greater sensitivity to acute psychosocial stress, which may affect driving performance via effects on dopaminergic circuits.

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