Conscious perception and the modulatory role of dopamine: no effect of the dopamine D2 agonist cabergoline on visual masking, the attentional blink, and probabilistic discrimination

E A Boonstra, M R van Schouwenburg, A K Seth, M Bauer, J B Zantvoord, E M Kemper, C S Lansink, H A Slagter

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

RATIONALE: Conscious perception is thought to depend on global amplification of sensory input. In recent years, striatal dopamine has been proposed to be involved in gating information and conscious access, due to its modulatory influence on thalamocortical connectivity.

OBJECTIVES: Since much of the evidence that implicates striatal dopamine is correlational, we conducted a double-blind crossover pharmacological study in which we administered cabergoline-a dopamine D2 agonist-and placebo to 30 healthy participants. Under both conditions, we subjected participants to several well-established experimental conscious-perception paradigms, such as backward masking and the attentional blink task.

RESULTS: We found no evidence in support of an effect of cabergoline on conscious perception: key behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) findings associated with each of these tasks were unaffected by cabergoline.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results cast doubt on a causal role for dopamine in visual perception. It remains an open possibility that dopamine has causal effects in other tasks, perhaps where perceptual uncertainty is more prominent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2855-2872
Number of pages18
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume237
Issue number9
Early online date3 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Conscious perception and the modulatory role of dopamine: no effect of the dopamine D2 agonist cabergoline on visual masking, the attentional blink, and probabilistic discrimination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this