Dopaminergic stimulation enhances confidence and accuracy in seeing rapidly presented words

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Regionshospital Hammel Neurocenter
  • Section for Anthropology and Ethnography
Liberal acceptance, overconfidence, and increased activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine have been proposed to account for abnormal sensory experiences, for instance, hallucinations in schizophrenia. In normal subjects, increased sensory experience in Yoga Nidra meditation is linked to striatal dopamine release. We therefore hypothesize that the neurotransmitter dopamine may function as a regulator of subjective confidence of visual perception in the normal brain. Although much is known about the effect of stimulation by neurotransmitters on cognitive functions, their effect on subjective confidence of perception has never been recorded experimentally before. In a controlled study of 24 normal, healthy female university students with the dopamine agonist pergolide given orally, we show that dopaminergic activation increases confidence in seeing rapidly presented words. It also improves performance in a forced-choice word recognition task. These results demonstrate neurotransmitter regulation of subjective conscious experience of perception and provide evidence for a crucial role of dopamine.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume11
Issue2
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
ISSN1534-7362
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2011

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 34588683