Genetic determinants of flexibility and specificity in human motivated learning and memory
In TP A08 we investigate genetic influences on motivated learning and memory processes in humans. In the third funding period, we aim to focus on genetic influences on flexibility and specificity in motivated learning and memory and their neural correlates. Flexibility, in the context of our study, is the ability of an individual to adapt motivated behaviour to changing stimulus-feedback associations. Specificity is defined as the strength of an association between a stimulus and a context – as opposed to a context-independent response to a stimulus, i.e. generalization. Given the frequent disturbances of flexibility (e.g. in depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder) and specificity (e.g. in anxiety disorders) in psychiatric disorders, we focus our genetic analyses on variants of synaptic proteins identified in psychiatric genome-wide association studies.