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Behav Neurosci. 2006 Feb;120(1):85-92.

Links between temperamental dimensions and brain monoamines in the rat.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.


In 27 female Wistar rats, the authors obtained composite scores on harm avoidance and novelty seeking, as well as 57 measures of monoamines and metabolites from 10 different brain regions. A multivariate regression method was used to discover associations between individual differences in temperament and neurochemistry. Harm-avoidant subjects had low levels of striatal dopamine and high levels of cortical norepinephrine and amygdaloid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. High novelty-seeking scores were linked to low levels of brainstem serotonin and dopamine and to low levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in amygdala and accumbens. Moreover, rats scoring high on novelty seeking had higher-than-average levels of norepinephrine in the thalamus and amygdala and of serotonin in the amygdala.

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