Love to win or hate to lose? Asymmetry of dopamine D2 receptor binding predicts sensitivity to reward versus punishment

Rachel Tomer, Heleen A. Slagter, Bradley T. Christian, Andrew S. Fox, Carlye R. King, Dhanabalan Murali, Mark A. Gluck, Richard J. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Humans show consistent differences in the extent to which their behavior reflects a bias toward appetitive approach-related behavior or avoidance of aversive stimuli [Elliot, A. J. Approach and avoidance motivation. In A. J. Elliot (Ed.), Handbook of approach and avoidance motivation (pp. 3-14). New York: Psychology Press, 2008]. We examined the hypothesis that in healthy participants this motivational bias (assessed by selfreport 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 versus punishment. These results suggest that normal variation in asymmetry of dopamine signaling may, in part, underlie human personality and cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1048
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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