The role of dopaminergic genes in probabilistic reinforcement learning in schizophrenia spectrum disorders

Dorota Frydecka*, Błażej Misiak, Patryk Piotrowski, Tomasz Bielawski, Edyta Pawlak, Ewa Kłosińska, Maja Krefft, Kamila Al Noaimy, Joanna Rymaszewska, Ahmed A. Moustafa, Jarosław Drapała

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SZ) are characterized by impairments in probabilistic reinforcement learning (RL), which is associated with dopaminergic circuitry encompassing the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia. However, there are no studies examining dopaminergic genes with respect to probabilistic RL in SZ. Thus, the aim of our study was to examine the impact of dopaminergic genes on performance assessed by the Probabilistic Selection Task (PST) in patients with SZ in comparison to healthy control (HC) subjects. In our study, we included 138 SZ patients and 188 HC participants. Genetic analysis was performed with respect to the following genetic polymorphisms: rs4680 in COMT, rs907094 in DARP-32, rs2734839, rs936461, rs1800497, and rs6277 in DRD2, rs747302 and rs1800955 in DRD4 and rs28363170 and rs2975226 in DAT1 genes. The probabilistic RL task was completed by 59 SZ patients and 95 HC subjects. SZ patients performed significantly worse in acquiring reinforcement contingencies during the task in comparison to HCs. We found no significant association between genetic polymorphisms and RL among SZ patients; however, among HC participants with respect to the DAT1 rs28363170 polymorphism, individuals with 10-allele repeat genotypes performed better in comparison to 9-allele repeat carriers. The present study indicates the relevance of the DAT1 rs28363170 polymorphism in RL in HC participants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


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