Dopaminergic modulation of rapid reality adaptation in thinking

Schnider, A., Guggisberg, A., Nahum, L., Gabriel, D. and Morand, S. (2010) Dopaminergic modulation of rapid reality adaptation in thinking. Neuroscience, 167(3), pp. 583-587. (doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.02.044) (PMID:20219638)

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Dopamine has long held a prominent role in the interpretation of schizophrenia and other psychoses. Clinical studies on confabulation and disorientation, disorders marked by a confusion of reality in thinking, indicated that the ability to keep thinking in phase with reality depends on a process suppressing the interference of upcoming memories that do not refer to ongoing reality. A host of animal studies and a recent clinical study suggested that this suppression might correspond to the phasic inhibition of dopaminergic neurons in response to the absence of expected outcomes. In this study, we tested healthy subjects with a difficult version of a memory paradigm on which confabulating patients had failed. Subjects participated in three test sessions, in which they received in double-blind, randomized fashion l-dopa, risperidone, or placebo. We found that l-dopa, in comparison with risperidone, impaired performance in a highly specific way, which corresponded to the pattern of patients with reality confusion. Specifically, they had an increase of false positive responses, while overall memory performance and reaction times were unaffected. We conclude that dopaminergic transmission influences the ability to rapidly adapt thinking to ongoing reality.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Morand, Dr Stephanie
Authors: Schnider, A., Guggisberg, A., Nahum, L., Gabriel, D., and Morand, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Neuroscience
ISSN (Online):1873-7544

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