Association of the Dopamine D4 Receptor (DRD4) Gene and Approach-Related Personality Traits: Meta-Analysis and New Data

Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.
Biological psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 02/2008; 63(2):197-206. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.04.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Two variants in the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene have been reported to be associated with human approach-related traits such as novelty seeking and extraversion. However, the strength of evidence for this association remains uncertain.
We conducted a meta-analysis of published studies of the association between the DRD4 gene variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) and C-521T polymorphisms and human approach-related personality traits, including novelty seeking, extraversion, and impulsivity, restricted to adult samples recruited from nonpsychiatric populations, and extended on this literature by attempting to confirm any evidence of association in a replication sample (n = 309) selected for extreme scores on the extraversion subscale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire from a large (n = 40,090) population-based sample.
Our initial meta-analysis supported the association of the DRD4 C-521T polymorphism, but not the VNTR polymorphism, with approach-related traits. This conclusion was qualified by evidence of significant publication bias and the failure to detect association in a replication sample comprising individuals at the extremes of the trait distribution. The association of the C-521T polymorphism observed in our initial meta-analysis was robust to the inclusion of these new data, but our revised meta-analysis indicated that the association was present for measures of novelty seeking and impulsivity but not for measures of extraversion.
The DRD4 gene may be associated with measures of novelty seeking and impulsivity but not extraversion. The association of the C-521T variant with these measures, if genuine, may account for up to 3% of phenotypic variance.

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Available from: Binnaz Yalcin, Jun 02, 2014
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    • "Significantly higher levels of dopamine have been associated with ES behavior in humans as well as rodents, in particular when expecting an upcoming reward (see for a review Norbury and Husain, 2015). Additional support for these observations comes from a meta-analysis that reported evidence for an association between novelty seeking and the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene [Munafo et al., 2008]. "
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    • "The DRD4 long allele has been positively selected , which suggests that it likely confers some type of adaptive advan - tage ( Ding et al . , 2002 ; Oak et al . , 2000 ) . Although the long allele has been associated with attentional disorders in prior work ( Gizer & Waldman , 2012 ; Bidwell et al . , 2011 ; Gizer et al . , 2009 ; Munafò et al . , 2008 ; Laucht et al . , 2005 , 2007 ; Langley et al . , 2004 ; Hutchison et al . , 2003 ; Kustanovich et al . , 2003 ; Manor et al . , 2001 ; Swanson U n c o r r e c t e d"
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    • "Carriers of the DRD4 7R + are less able to maintain cognitive self-control than non-carriers and thus are more vulnerable to distracting information, which if occurring in a sales conversation might consist in lost information that is relevant, such as happens with non-verbal signals. Similarly, carriers of the DRD4 7R + are less able to self-regulate and have difficulties post-poning gratification, making them vulnerable to committing more impulsive behaviors (Munafò et al., 2008). Successful selling requires salespeople to look for opportunities displayed implicitly in interpersonal encounters (e.g., being sensitive to implicit meaning and non-verbal communication) and explicitly by customers (e.g., voicing needs, objections). "
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