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Alpha-2B adrenergic receptor (Alpha-2 adrenergic receptor subtype C2) (Alpha-2B adrenoreceptor) (Alpha-2B adrenoceptor) (Alpha-2BAR) [ADRA2L1] [ADRA2RL1]


Aging and the Combined effects of ADRA2B and CB1 deletions on Affective Working Memory.

Many studies have found that memory for affective material is better than memory for neutral information and memory for positive material compared to negative material is better in older adults. Behavioral, neurophysiological as well as single polymorphism differences have been advanced to account for these effects. Here, we aimed to examine whether the combination of two polymorphisms (ADRA2B and CB1) in older adults influences active maintenance and manipulation of emotional information in aging working memory. We examined genotype data from 207 older adults (56 double deletion carriers, 116 single deletion carriers and 35 no deletion carriers) who performed a verbal operation span-like task with positive, negative and neutral words. We found that subjects carrying both ADRA2B and CB1 variants generally remembered a higher number of words. In addition, double carriers showed positivity effects while single carriers showed more general emotional enhancement effects, especially as strings lengthened. These findings are amongst the first to suggest a haplotype account of positivity effects in older adults' memory.

MeSH Terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Haplotypes
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2
  • Sequence Deletion

Aging and the genetic road towards the positivity effect in memory.

Better memory for positive information compared to negative and neutral information has been repeatedly associated with successful aging. The main psychological explanations for this so-called "positivity effect" in memory principally rely on emotional, motivational, and cognitive mechanisms that make older adults' cognition highly sensitive to positive information according to ultimate goals of well-being. However, emerging evidence also delineates a genetic profile for positivity effects in memory, which may render some older adults more prone than others to encoding and remembering positive memories. First, we present a brief overview of behavioral and neuroimaging studies about the positivity effect in aging. Subsequently, we report studies on candidate genes associated with positive memories. In particular, we review work to date on several candidate genes that are sensitive to stimulus valence such as ADRA2B, COMT, and 5HTTLPR. Finally, we propose that the future approach to the study of genetic correlates of positivity effects in memory should also include mitochondrial functioning (TOMM40). Altogether, the study of genetics and cell biology of positivity effects in memory can help us to reveal the underlying bottom-up pathways to positive affect in healthy aging.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase
  • Cognition
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Memory
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins


  • Emotion
  • Gene
  • Positivity effects