Variants in the dopamine-4-receptor gene promoter are not associated with sensation seeking in skiers

Cynthia J. Thomson, Amelia K. Rajala, Scott R. Carlson, Jim L. Rupert

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10 Scopus citations


Sensation seeking is a personality trait that has been associated with disinhibited behaviours including substance use and gambling, but also with high-risk sport practices including skydiving, paragliding, and downhill skiing. Twin studies have shown that sensation seeking is moderately heritable, and candidate genes encoding components involved in dopaminergic transmission have been investigated as contributing to this type of behaviour. To determine whether variants in the regulatory regions of the dopamine-4-receptor gene (DRD4) influenced sport-specific sensation seeking, we analyzed five polymorphisms (-1106T/C, -906T/C, -809G/A, -291C/T, 120-bp duplication) in the promoter region of the gene in a cohort of skiers and snowboarders (n = 599) that represented a broad range of sensation seeking behaviours. We grouped subjects by genotype at each of the five loci and compared impulsive sensation seeking and domain-specific (skiing) sensation seeking between groups. There were no significant associations between genotype(s) and general or domain-specific sensation seeking in the skiers and snowboarders, suggesting that while DRD4 has previously been implicated in sensation seeking, the promoter variants investigated in this study do not contribute to sensation seeking in this athlete population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere93521
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014


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