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Associations between neurochemical receptor genes, 2D:4D, impulsivity and relationship quality

Pearce, E; Wlodarski, R; Machin, A; Dunbar, RIM; (2018) Associations between neurochemical receptor genes, 2D:4D, impulsivity and relationship quality. Biology Letters , 14 (12) 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0642. Green open access

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Abstract

The ratio between the second and fourth digits (2D:4D) has been widely used as a proxy for fetal exposure to androgens and has been linked to a number of sociosexual traits in humans. However, the role of genes in this equation remains unknown. Here (N = 474), we test, firstly, for associations between 2D:4D and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in nine neurochemical receptor genes (AR, OXTR, AVPR1A, OPRM1, DRD1/2, ANKK1, 5HTR1A/2A), and secondly, whether digit ratios mediate the relationship between genetic variation and sociosexuality. We demonstrate significant associations between AR, OPRM1 and AVPR1A and 2D:4D. Moreover, mediation analysis indicates that, in women, AR and OPRM1 variation drives digit ratios, which are related positively to impulsivity and, for OPRM1, negatively to romantic relationship quality. Although these findings are subject to multiple testing issues, this study provides preliminary evidence that in women genetic factors may affect both impulsivity and perceived relationship quality through influencing factors indexed by digit ratios.

Type: Article
Title: Associations between neurochemical receptor genes, 2D:4D, impulsivity and relationship quality
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0642
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0642
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: digit ratio, sociosexual behaviour, testosterone, vasopressin, β-endorphin
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069404
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