Dopamine transporter (DAT1) and dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) genotypes differentially impact on electrophysiological correlates of error processing

Stefanie C Biehl* (Corresponding Author), Thomas Dresler, Andreas Reif, Peter Scheuerpflug, Jürgen Deckert, Martin J Herrmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Recent studies as well as theoretical models of error processing assign fundamental importance to the brain's dopaminergic system. Research about how the electrophysiological correlates of error processing--the error-related negativity (ERN) and the error positivity (Pe)--are influenced by variations of common dopaminergic genes, however, is still relatively scarce. In the present study, we therefore investigated whether polymorphisms in the DAT1 gene and in the DRD4 gene, respectively, lead to interindividual differences in these error processing correlates. One hundred sixty participants completed a version of the Eriksen Flanker Task while a 26-channel EEG was recorded. The task was slightly modified in order to increase error rates. During data analysis, participants were split into two groups depending on their DAT1 and their DRD4 genotypes, respectively. ERN and Pe amplitudes after correct responses and after errors as well as difference amplitudes between errors and correct responses were analyzed. We found a differential effect of DAT1 genotype on the Pe difference amplitude but not on the ERN difference amplitude, while the reverse was true for DRD4 genotype. These findings are in line with predictions from theoretical models of dopaminergic transmission in the brain. They furthermore tie results from clinical investigations of disorders impacting on the dopamine system to genetic variations known to be at-risk genotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28396
Number of pages6
JournalPloS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2011


  • adult
  • behavior
  • brain
  • dopamine
  • dopamine plasma membrane transport proteins
  • electrophysiology
  • female
  • gene expression regulation
  • genetic variation
  • genotype
  • humans
  • male
  • middle aged
  • models, biological
  • psychomotor performance
  • receptors, dopamine D4
  • reproducibility of results


Dive into the research topics of 'Dopamine transporter (DAT1) and dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) genotypes differentially impact on electrophysiological correlates of error processing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this