Neural and behavioral responses to threatening emotion faces in children as a function of the short allele of the serotonin transporter gene

Moriah E. Thomason, Melissa L. Henry, J. Paul Hamilton, Jutta Joormann, Daniel S. Pine, Monique Ernst, David Goldman, Karin Mogg, Brendan P. Bradley, Jennifer C. Britton, Kara M. Lindstrom, Christopher S. Monk, Lindsey S. Sankin, Hugo M.C. Louro, Ian H. Gotlib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that a genetic polymorphism in the promoter region (5-HTTLPR) of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) mediates stress reactivity in adults. Little is known, however, about this gene-brain association in childhood and adolescence, generally conceptualized as a time of heightened stress reactivity. The present study examines the association between 5-HTTLPR allelic variation and responses to fearful and angry faces presented both sub- and supraliminally in participants, ages 9-17. Behaviorally, carriers of the 5-HTTLPR short (s) allele exhibited significantly greater attentional bias to subliminally presented fear faces than did their long (l)-allele homozygous counterparts. Moreover, s-allele carriers showed greater neural activations to fearful and angry faces than did l-allele homozygotes in various regions of association cortex previously linked to attention control in adults. These results indicate that in children and adolescents, s-allele carriers can be distinguished from l-allele homozygotes on the basis of hypervigilant behavioral and neural processing of negative material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • 5-HTTLPR
  • Adolescence
  • Attention
  • Children
  • Emotion
  • FMRI
  • Gene
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neural and behavioral responses to threatening emotion faces in children as a function of the short allele of the serotonin transporter gene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Thomason, M. E., Henry, M. L., Paul Hamilton, J., Joormann, J., Pine, D. S., Ernst, M., Goldman, D., Mogg, K., Bradley, B. P., Britton, J. C., Lindstrom, K. M., Monk, C. S., Sankin, L. S., Louro, H. M. C., & Gotlib, I. H. (2010). Neural and behavioral responses to threatening emotion faces in children as a function of the short allele of the serotonin transporter gene. Biological Psychology, 85(1), 38-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2010.04.009