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Sci Rep. 2012;2:677. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

COMT Val158Met polymorphism interacts with stressful life events and parental warmth to influence decision making.

Author information

1
Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089, USA. qinghuah@usc.edu

Abstract

Both genetic and environmental factors have been shown to influence decision making, but their relative contributions and interactions are not well understood. The present study aimed to reveal possible gene-environment interactions on decision making in a large healthy sample. Specifically, we examined how the frequently studied COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism interacted with an environmental risk factor (i.e., stressful life events) and a protective factor (i.e., parental warmth) to influence affective decision making as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task. We found that stressful life events acted as a risk factor for poor IGT performance (i.e., high reward sensitivity) among Met carriers, whereas parental warmth acted as a protective factor for good IGT performance (i.e., higher IGT score) among Val/Val homozygotes. These results shed some new light on gene-environment interactions in decision making, which could potentially help us understand the underlying etiology of several psychiatric disorders associated with decision making impairment.

PMID:
22997551
PMCID:
PMC3447184
DOI:
10.1038/srep00677
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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