Working memory capacity predicts dopamine synthesis capacity in the human striatum

J Neurosci. 2008 Jan 30;28(5):1208-12. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4475-07.2008.


Evidence from psychopharmacological research has revealed that dopamine receptor agents have opposite effects on cognitive function depending on baseline levels of working memory capacity. These contrasting effects have been interpreted to reflect differential baseline levels of dopamine. Here we demonstrate for the first time that working memory capacity as measured by listening span predicts dopamine synthesis capacity in the striatum, indicating that subjects with low working memory capacity have low DA synthesis capacity in the striatum, whereas subjects with high working memory capacity have high DA synthesis capacity in the striatum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Adult
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Dopamine / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reaction Time / physiology


  • Dopamine