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Pharmaco-genetics and neuroimaging: genes, neurotransmitter systems, and (social) cognition

One major goal of neuroscientific research is to understand the biological principles that underlie complex cognitive and emotional processes. For nearly every area of behaviour studied, twin and adoption studies have shown strong genetic influences. In order to understand human (social) cognition and behaviour, we must now learn how these genes work at the level of the intact organism.

Thus in several projects we combine genomics, social cognitive neuroscience and brain imaging to investigate functional polymorphisms which impact the brain reward system, and how this in turn affects (social) cognition and behavior. Target neurotransmitter systems are the opioid and the dopamine system. Moreover, we have begun to investigate their interaction with hormones (such as testosterone, estradiol, and cortisol). Genotypic variations are an obvious component of individual differences in cognitive performance and brain functioning. The results of this project are therefore not only of academic interest, but also have clinical relevance.


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Faculty of Psychology
University of Vienna

Liebiggasse 5
1010 Wien
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0
Lastupdate: 07.08.2015 - 09:22