Impairment of executive control functions in depression is well documented, and performance on the Stroop Test is one of the most widely used markers to measure the decline. This tool provides reliable quantitative phenotype data that can be used efficiently in candidate gene studies investigating inherited components of executive control. Aim of the present review is to summarize research on genetic factors of Stroop performance. Interestingly, only a few such candidate gene studies have been carried out to date. Twin studies show a 30-60% heritability estimate for the Stroop test, suggesting a significant genetic component. A single genome-wide association study has been carried out on Stroop performance, and it did not show any significant association with any of the tested polymorphisms after correction for multiple testing. Candidate gene studies to date pointed to the polymorphisms of several neurotransmitter systems (dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine) and to the role of the APOE ε4 allele. Surprisingly, little is known about the genetic role of neurothrophic factors and survival factors. In conclusion, further studies are needed for clarifying the genetic background of Stroop performance, characterizing attentional functions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
- Clinical Neurology