Reciprocity with primary caregivers affects subjects’ adaptive abilities toward the construction of the most useful personal meaning organization (PMO) with respect to their developmental environment. Within cognitive theory the post-rationalist approach has outlined two basic categories of identity construction and of regulation of cognitive and emotional processes: the Outward and the Inward PMO. The presence of different, consistent clinical patterns in Inward and Outward subjects is paralleled by differences in cerebral activation during emotional tasks on fMRI and by different expression of some polymorphisms in serotonin pathways. Since several lines of evidence support a role for the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in mediating individual susceptibility to environmental emotional stimuli, this study was conducted to investigate its influence in the development of the Inward/Outward PMO. PMO was assessed and the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism investigated in 124 healthy subjects who were subdivided into an Inward (n = 52) and an Outward (n = 72) group. Case-control comparisons of short allele (S) frequencies showed significant differences between Inwards and Outwards (p = 0.036, x2 test; p = 0.026, exact test). Genotype frequencies were not significantly different although values slightly exceeded p#0.05 (p = 0.056, x2 test; p = 0.059, exact test). Analysis of the 5-HTTLPR genotypes according to the recessive inheritance model showed that the S/S genotype increased the likelihood of developing an Outward PMO (p = 0.0178, x2 test; p = 0.0143, exact test; OR = 3.43, CI (95%) = 1.188–9.925). A logistic regression analysis confirmed the association between short allele and S/S genotypes with the Outward PMO also when gender and age were considered. However none of the differences remained significant after correction for multiple testing, even though using the recessive model they approach significance. Overall our data seem to suggest a putative genetic basis for interindividual differences in PMO development.
Role of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in the development of the Inward/Outward Personality Organization: a genetic association study / Nardi, Bernardo; Marini, Alessandra; Turchi, Chiara; Arimatea, E.; Tagliabracci, Adriano; Bellantuono, Cesario. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - ELETTRONICO. - 8:12 (e82192)(2013), pp. 1-8. [10.1371/journal.pone.0082192]