Effects of an acute D2-dopaminergic blockade on the somatosensory cortical responses in healthy humans: evidence from evoked magnetic fields.
ABSTRACT We tested the possible role of dopaminergic activity in the processing of somatosensory afferent information in healthy humans. Somatosensory evoked magnetic fields (SEFs) were recorded in seven subjects in response to left median nerve stimulation. SEFs were obtained in all subjects after oral administration of 2 mg haloperidol, an antagonist to dopaminergic D2 receptors, and placebo, which were given in a randomized, double-blind cross-over design. SEFs were analyzed using a multiple equivalent current dipole (ECD) model, with one dipole at the right primary somatosensory cortex (SI) and at both left and right secondary somatosensory cortices (SII). The earliest responses from SI, peaking at about 20 ms (N20m) and 35 ms (P35m), were not affected by haloperidol. A later deflection peaking at about 75 ms (P60m), however, was slightly reduced (p < 0.05). Responses arising from SII were not significantly changed. The results suggest that dopaminergic activity may be involved in modulating somatosensory processing after the initial stages of cortical activation.
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ABSTRACT: Reward-related dopaminergic influences on learning and overt behaviour are well established, but any influence on sensory decision-making is largely unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participants judged electric somatosensory stimuli on one hand or other, before being rewarded for correct performance at trial end via a visual signal, at one of four anticipated financial levels. Prior to the procedure, participants received either placebo (saline), a dopamine agonist (levodopa), or an antagonist (haloperidol). Principal findings: higher anticipated reward improved tactile decisions. Visually signalled reward reactivated primary somatosensory cortex for the judged hand, more strongly for higher reward. After receiving a higher reward on one trial, somatosensory activations and decisions were enhanced on the next trial. These behavioural and neural effects were all enhanced by levodopa and attenuated by haloperidol, indicating dopaminergic dependency. Dopaminergic reward-related influences extend even to early somatosensory cortex and sensory decision-making.PLoS Biology 08/2009; 7(7):e1000164. · 11.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Obesity is typically associated with abnormal eating behaviors. Brain imaging studies in humans implicate the involvement of dopamine (DA)-modulated circuits in pathologic eating behavior(s). Food cues increase striatal extracellular DA, providing evidence for the involvement of DA in the nonhedonic motivational properties of food. Food cues also increase metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex indicating the association of this region with the motivation for food consumption. Similar to drug-addicted subjects, striatal DA D2 receptor availability is reduced in obese subjects, which may predispose obese subjects to seek food as a means to temporarily compensate for understimulated reward circuits. Decreased DA D2 receptors in the obese subjects are also associated with decreased metabolism in prefrontal regions involved in inhibitory control, which may underlie their inability to control food intake. Gastric stimulation in obese subjects activates cortical and limbic regions involved with self-control, motivation, and memory. These brain regions are also activated during drug craving in drug-addicted subjects. Obese subjects have increased metabolism in the somatosensory cortex, which suggests an enhanced sensitivity to the sensory properties of food. The reduction in DA D2 receptors in obese subjects coupled with the enhanced sensitivity to food palatability could make food their most salient reinforcer putting them at risk for compulsive eating and obesity. The results from these studies suggest that multiple but similar brain circuits are disrupted in obesity and drug addiction and suggest that strategies aimed at improving DA function might be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of obesity.Journal of Addiction Medicine 03/2009; 3(1):8-18. · 1.95 Impact Factor