The Contribution of Dopamine and Serotonin to Differentiation Amid Personalities


  • Hillary Pedrizzi Comenius University in Bratislava


Personalities represent the difference in human beings’ behavioral tendencies, and how they approach the environment and other individuals. We can assume emotions and expectations as determinant factors forming internal feelings, representations and actions [1]. Emotions are modulators of cognition and specific forms of thinking. On the other hand, expectations are conceptualized as the anticipations of what could happen in the environment. Then, the personal ability to predict the likelihood of an event is contingent on subjective emotional experience, needs and desires. Hence, motivation represents the need for certainty and competence. Motivation is strictly associated with emotional regulations depending on the levels of certainty and competence [2]. Thus, a further investigation can be executed by searching for the neural correlate of these cognitive phenomena. It has been shown that serotonin is responsible for affective processing. It is projected from the raphe nuclei, through the fibers to almost every region of the brain. Additionally, dopamine is generated by other areas: substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, arcuate nucleus, periventricular nucleus, zona incerta and the posterior hypothalamus. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter which contributes to reward feeling, memory and movement. The relationship between serotonergic and dopaminergic systems is crucial to regulating appetitive and aversive motives, depending on the value an individual attributes to a goal. The goal of this project is to propose a venue towards a computational model of personality theory, which simulates how subjects give different meanings to environmental inputs due to their neuronal processing of value-based choice tendencies. In particular, the focus will be on the interaction between behavioural inhibition system and behavioural approach system (BIS/BAS) systems and their neuronal correlates: dopaminergic and serotonergic systems. [3].


[1] A. G. Fischer and M. Ullsperger “An Update on the Role of Serotonin and its interplay with Dopamine for Reward”. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 11, no. 484 2017

[2] D. Dörner, J. Gerdes, M. Mayer and S. Misra “A Simulation of Cognitive and Emotional Effects of Overcrowding”. In Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling, Trieste, Italy. 2006

[3] P. J. Corr, C.G. DeYoung and N. McNaughton “Motivation and personality: A neuropsychological perspective. Social and Personality Psychology Compass vol. 7 no. 3 pp. 158–175 2013