Incentive motivation is associated with striatal dopamine asymmetry

Department of Psychology & Brain and Behavior Center, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel 31905, Israel.
Biological Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.4). 02/2008; 77(1):98-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.08.001
Source: PubMed


Dopamine plays an important role in modulating incentive motivation, expressed behaviorally as approach behavior. EEG studies report association between approach behavior and asymmetric pattern of activation in anterior cortical regions (as measured by the inverse of EEG alpha power). Therefore, individual differences in incentive motivation may reflect asymmetries in dopaminergic systems. We examined this hypothesis by studying the relationship between self-reported degree of incentive motivation, and asymmetry of D2 receptor availability in healthy volunteers. Nineteen healthy participants were studied with positron emission tomography (PET) and [11C]raclopride to assess the availability of dopamine D2 receptors in left and right striatum. Incentive motivation was assessed by the Achievement scale of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire. The Achievement score was negatively correlated with the Asymmetry Index ([R-L]/[R+L]) of D2 receptor availability (r=-.721, p=.001), suggesting that greater positive incentive motivation is associated with higher receptor availability in the left relative to the right hemisphere.

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    • "Postmortem analyses revealed higher NA in the left compared with right thalamus (Oke et al. 1978), higher 5-HT receptor levels in the right frontal cortex (Arato et al. 1991), and nondirectional asymmetry of DA in the basal ganglia (Glick et al. 1982). Positron emission tomography studies demonstrate right–left differences in DA receptor expression levels in the striatum and in the frontal and temporal cortices that varied among individuals in both magnitude and direction (Tomer et al. 2008, 2012). 5-HT 1A receptors in the cortical region associated with language exhibit higher levels in the right frontal gyri and in the left auditory cortex (Fink et al. 2009) "
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