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In addition, this SNP is also potentially a more reliable marker for examining novelty seeking.Meta-analysis has shown that the C allele of this SNP could account for up to 2 % of phenotypic variance of the novelty seeking personality trait, while no association with this trait was found for the VNTR (Munafò et al. The goal of this study is to determine whether or not the frequency of C alleles in the SNP −521 C/T decreased over time in native South American populations due to selection for the T allele, and if possible to determine which societal changes most likely had the largest impact on allele frequencies.).) that can be associated with a tendency for novelty seeking behavior.Novelty seeking (NS) is a personality trait is defined by a tendency towards exploratory behavior and intense excitement in response to novel stimuli, impulsive decision making, and quick loss of temper and avoidance of frustration.
To test this hypothesis this study examines the diachronic change in the frequency of the C allele of the −521 C/T SNP in the DRD4 promoter region, thought to contribute to the NS phenotype, analyzing ancient DNA from pre-Columbian South America.
Since we aim to address our hypothesis using ancient DNA, issues of preservation would prevent us from observing a polymorphism involving so many base pairs.
For this reason, this study looks at the −521 C/T SNP (rs1800955) instead.
The dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene has been of particular interest in recent studies both because it is highly variable in humans, and it seems to affect complex behaviors.
Polymorphisms in this gene have been associated with behavioral traits such as novelty seeking and impulsivity (Ebstein et al. Certain polymorphisms in the DRD4 gene such as the 7 repeat allele in a 48 bp VNTR in exon 3 and the C allele of the −521 C/T Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter region (rs1800955) have been discussed to cause a reduced sensitivity of the rewards system (Hattori et al.