Sources of cognitive exploration: Genetic variation in the prefrontal dopamine system predicts Openness/Intellect

Colin G. DeYoung, Dante Cicchetti, Fred A. Rogosch, Jeremy R. Gray, Maria Eastman, Elena L. Grigorenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

The personality trait Openness/Intellect reflects the tendency to be imaginative, curious, perceptive, artistic, and intellectual - all characteristics that involve cognitive exploration. Little is known about the biological basis of Openness/Intellect, but the trait has been linked to cognitive functions of prefrontal cortex, and the neurotransmitter dopamine plays a key role in motivation to explore. The hypothesis that dopamine is involved in Openness/Intellect was supported by examining its association with two genes that are central components of the prefrontal dopaminergic system. In two demographically different samples (children: N= 608; adults: N=214), variation in the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) and the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) predicted Openness/Intellect, as main effects in the child sample and as a gene-gene interaction in adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-371
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • COMT
  • DRD4
  • Dopamine
  • Genetics
  • Intellect
  • Openness to Experience
  • Personality

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