Dopamine (DA) availability in both striatal and extrastriatal brain regions has been implicated in cognitive performance. Given that different brain regions are neuroanatomically and functionally different, DA receptor binding in different brain regions may be selectively important to specific cognitive functions. Using PET and the radioligand SCH23390, we measured D1 receptor binding potential (BP(ND)) in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), hippocampus (HC), as well as in sensorimotor (SMST), associative (AST), and limbic (LST) striatum in 20 healthy younger persons. Subjects completed tasks assessing executive functioning, episodic memory, speed, and general knowledge. Unlike previous reports, we found no linear or curvilinear relationships between D1 receptor binding in DLPFC and performance in any cognitive task. However, BP(ND) in HC was positively linked to executive performance as well as to speed and knowledge. With regard to the striatal subregions, D1 BP(ND) in SMST was more strongly related to speed compared to the other striatal subregions, whereas D1 BP(ND) in AST was more strongly linked to general knowledge. These findings provide support for the notion that D1 receptors in separate brain regions are differentially related to performance in tasks tapping various cognitive domains.
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