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Neurosci Lett. 2014 Apr 30;566:216-20. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.02.052. Epub 2014 Mar 2.

Dazed and confused: a molecular genetic approach to everyday cognitive failure.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Laboratory for Neurogenetics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Center for Economics and Neuroscience, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany. Electronic address: sebastian.markett@uni-bonn-diff.de.
  • 2Department of Psychology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Laboratory for Neurogenetics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Center for Economics and Neuroscience, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
  • 3Department of Psychology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

Abstract

An individual's susceptibility to everyday cognitive failure constitutes a risk factor for physical and mental health. Different factors such as inefficiency of executive functioning and high trait impulsivity have been shown to affect this susceptibility. Furthermore, twin studies indicate a high heritability of failure susceptibility revealing genetic variables as an important biological influence. We tested for a molecular genetic association between variants on the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2), which relate to executive control and impulsivity, and susceptibility to everyday cognitive failure as assessed by the cognitive failure questionnaire (CFQ) in a sample of N=500 (n=140 male, n=360 female, mean age M=24.62, SD=7.98) healthy participants of central European descent. Moreover, we assessed whether trait impulsivity as measured by the Barratt impulsiveness scale (BIS-11) qualifies as a mediator between DRD2 variants and CFQ scores. We found a positive association between DRD2 variants and the CFQ. This effect was in part yet not completely mediated by trait impulsivity. The DRD2 C/C variant constitutes a protective factor for the susceptibility to everyday cognitive failure. Results point towards at least two biopsychological pathways that may explain the observed effect.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive failure questionnaire; DRD2; Dopamine; Executive functioning; Impulsivity

PMID:
24598436
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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