, 208:233 | Cite as

Acute dopamine and/or serotonin depletion does not modulate mismatch negativity (MMN) in healthy human participants

  • Sumie Leung
  • Rodney J. Croft
  • Valérie Guille
  • Kirsty Scholes
  • Barry V. O’Neill
  • K. Luan Phan
  • Pradeep J. Nathan
Original Investigation



Schizophrenia is commonly associated with impairments in pre-attentive change detection, as represented by reduced mismatch negativity (MMN). While the neurochemical basis of MMN has been linked to N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor function, the roles of the dopaminergic and/or the serotonergic systems are not fully explored in humans.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acutely depleting dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) alone or simultaneously by depleting their amino acid precursors on MMN in healthy participants.


Sixteen healthy male subjects participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design in which each subject’s duration MMN was assessed under four acute treatment conditions separated by a 5-day washout period: balanced amino acid control (no depletion), tyrosine/phenylalanine depletion (to reduce DA neurotransmission), tryptophan depletion (to reduce 5-HT neurotransmission) and tryptophan/tyrosine/phenylalanine depletion (to reduce DA and 5-HT neurotransmission simultaneously).


Acute depletion of either DA and 5-HT alone or simultaneously had no effect on MMN.


These findings suggest that modulation of the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems acutely does not lead to changes in MMN.


Mismatch negativity MMN Dopamine Serotonin Schizophrenia Cognition Tryptophan depletion Tyrosine depletion Monoamine Change detection 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sumie Leung
    • 1
  • Rodney J. Croft
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valérie Guille
    • 1
  • Kirsty Scholes
    • 1
  • Barry V. O’Neill
    • 1
  • K. Luan Phan
    • 3
  • Pradeep J. Nathan
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Brain Sciences Institute, Faculty of Life and Social SciencesSwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Behavioural SciencesUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Brain Mapping Unit, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  5. 5.School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological MedicineMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  6. 6.Clinical Unit CambridgeGlaxoSmithKlineLondonUK

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