The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether a length polymorphism in the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) was associated with approach related traits in adolescents. Data were used from TRAILS (TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey), a population based cohort of Dutch adolescents. Sensation seeking, assessed with personality questionnaires from the participants themselves and their biological father and mother (n=1282) was not associated with DRD4 genotype. Gambling performance (n=591) and startle reactivity (n=432) were not associated with DRD4 genotype either. Explanations for the dissociation might be sought in differences in development of the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex, both with high dopamine receptor D4 densities and both involved in approach related behaviours.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Nederhof, E., Creemers, H., Huizink, A., Ormel, J. H., & Oldehinkel, A. (2011). L-DRD4 genotype not associated with sensation seeking, gambling performance and startle reactivity in adolescents: The TRAILS study. Neuropsychologia, 49(5), 1359–1362. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.02.019