Differential effect of catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype on emotional recognition abilities in healthy men and women

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2007 Sep;13(5):881-7. doi: 10.1017/S1355617707070932. Epub 2007 May 18.


The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism modulates executive functions and working memory and recent neuroimaging studies implicate an association with emotional processing. We examined the relationship between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and facial emotion recognition and differentiation in 100 healthy individuals. Compared to Met homozygosity, Val homozygosity was associated with better and faster recognition of negative facial expressions such as anger and sad. Our study provides evidence for a possible influence of the COMT polymorphism on emotion recognition abilities in healthy subjects. Additional research is needed to further define the neurocognitive phenotypes associated with COMT polymorphisms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Expressed Emotion
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methionine / genetics*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Valine / genetics*


  • Methionine
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase
  • Valine