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Neuropsychologia. 2014 Sep;62:398-402. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.12.027. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Eating to stop: tyrosine supplementation enhances inhibitory control but not response execution.

Author information

1
Leiden University, Cognitive Psychology Unit & Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address: colzato@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.
2
Leiden University, Cognitive Psychology Unit & Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden, The Netherlands.
3
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Center for the Study of Adaptive Control in Brain and Behaviour (Acacia), Psychology Department, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Animal studies and research in humans have shown that the supplementation of tyrosine, or tyrosine-containing diets, increase the plasma tyrosine and enhance brain dopamine (DA). However, the strategy of administering tyrosine (and the role of DA therein) to enhance cognition is unclear and heavily debated. We studied, in a healthy population, whether tyrosine supplementation improves stopping overt responses, a core cognitive-control function. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject design, one hour following the administration of tyrosine (corresponding to the beginning of the 1h-peak of the plasma concentration) or placebo, participants performed a stop-signal task-which taps into response inhibition and response execution speed. Participants in the Tyrosine condition were more efficient in inhibiting unwanted action tendencies but not in reacting to go signals. This is the first demonstration that the supplementation of tyrosine selectively targets, and reliably improves the ability to stop overt responses.

KEYWORDS:

Dopamine; Inhibitory control; Stop-signal task; Tyrosine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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