The gene encoding catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme which regulates prefrontal cortex dopamine, contains a common functional single nucleotide polymorphism (val158met, rs4680 G/A), which accounts for part of the interindividual variance in performance during working memory tasks and also predicts personality traits.
We examined the relationship between the val158met polymorphism and cognitive function as well as personality traits in 522 healthy individuals (mean age: 24.75 years, SD = 5.84, mean years of education: 15.59, SD = 2.65).
COMT val158met genotype was related in allele dosage fashion to performance in an executive function test, with the met/met carriers scoring highest. Subjects carrying the met/met genotype also scored higher in the disorganization domain of the SPQ-B personality inventory.
Consistent with evidence from previous studies, higher dopamine availability of the met/met genotype enhances prefrontally mediated executive function in healthy individuals.
Furthermore, we replicated findings from a recent study whereby the COMT genotype also predicts disorganized personality features.