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Keywords:

  • DRD2;
  • DAT1;
  • error-related ERPs;
  • error-related negativity;
  • performance monitoring

The error-related negativity (ERN) is a negative deflection in the event-related potential that occurs approximately 50ms following the commission of an error at fronto-central electrode sites. Previous models suggest dopamine plays a role in the generation of the ERN. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) while 279 children aged 5–7 years completed a simple Go/No-Go task; the ERN was examined in relation to the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) and dopamine transporter (DAT1) genes. Results suggest an additive effect of the DRD2 and DAT1 genotype on ERN magnitude such that children with at least one DRD2 A1 allele and children with at least one DAT1 9 allele have an increased (i.e. more negative) ERN. These results provide further support for the involvement of dopamine in the generation of the ERN.