Neuro* Journal Club at the Free University Berlin

Variation in the human cannabinoid receptor CNR1 gene modulates gaze duration for happy faces

The authors of the current study (2) investigated the relationship of common genetic variations and gaze patterns. In particular, they tested whether variations in the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) gene would modulate gaze duration on (happy) faces. To this end, four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CNR1 gene were genotyped in 30 healthy subjects (13 male, mean age 24.1 (SD 3.41)),  and associated with gaze duration on dynamic emotional faces, recorded via an 60 Hz eye-tracking system. The SNPs were chosen based on an earlier functional magnetic resonance imaging study (1), which showed that variations in CNR1 modulate striatal response to happy (but not disgust) faces. Results showed that in fact two SNPs (rs806377 and rs806380) in the CNR1 gene were significantly associated with gaze duration on happy (but not disgust) faces. This is not only consistent with their previous study but also extending the previous findings: The allelic group associated with the strongest striatal response in the previous study was associated with the longest gaze duration for happy faces in the current study.

Taken together, the CNR1 seems to play an important role in social reward processing with potential high significance for clinical conditions with deficits in social (reward) processing along with aberrant processing of facial information, such as autism spectrum disorders.

(1) Chakrabarti B, Kent L, Suckling J, Bullmore E, & Baron-Cohen S (2006). Variations in the human cannabinoid receptor (CNR1) gene modulate striatal responses to happy faces. The European journal of neuroscience, 23 (7), 1944-8 PMID: 16623851

(2) Chakrabarti, B., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2011). Variation in the human cannabinoid receptor CNR1 gene modulates gaze duration for happy faces Molecular Autism, 2 (1) DOI: 10.1186/2040-2392-2-10

Der Beitrag wurde am Saturday, den 31. December 2011 um 16:39 Uhr von Dorit Kliemann veröffentlicht und wurde unter Cognition, General, Molecular, Psychology, Vision abgelegt. Sie können die Kommentare zu diesem Eintrag durch den RSS 2.0 Feed verfolgen. Sie können einen Kommentar schreiben, oder einen Trackback auf Ihrer Seite einrichten.

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