Brain dopamine linked to increased social status

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Washington, Feb 4 (ANI): Scientists have found a unique correlation between brain chemical dopamine and social status.

Lead researcher Dr. Martinez and colleagues found that increased social status and increased social support correlated with the density of dopamine D2/D3 receptors in the striatum, a region of the brain that plays a central role in reward and motivation, where dopamine plays a critical role in both of these behavioural processes.

The study suggests that people who achieve greater social status are more likely to be able to experience life as rewarding and stimulating because they have more targets for dopamine to act upon within the striatum.

"We showed that low levels of dopamine receptors were associated with low social status and that high levels of dopamine receptors were associated with higher social status," said Martinez.

"The same type of association was seen with the volunteer's reports of social support they experience from their friends, family, or significant other," Martinez added.

Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry said, "These data shed interesting light into the drive to achieve social status, a basic social process.

"It would make sense that people who had higher levels of D2 receptors, i.e., were more highly motivated and engaged by social situations, would be high achievers and would have higher levels of social support."

The study is published in Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier. (ANI)

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