How does dopamine influence social decision making in healthy male volunteers

Study code

Lead researcher
Professor Christoph Eisenegger

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Cambridge

Researcher type

Speciality area
Neurological Disorders

Recruitment Site


Decisions are an inherent part of our social lives and vary in complexity as they may range from bargaining  over  a  product  at  a  market,  up  to  merger negotiations  in  large  companies.  The  main purpose  of  this  study  is  to  gain  further  understanding  of  the  brain  mechanisms  involved  in decision making in a social context.

Brain function is known to depend upon naturally occurring chemicals (‘neurotransmitters’)   that   communicate   between   brain   cells.   Previous   research suggests  that  the  neurotransmitter  dopamine  plays  an  important  role  in  decisions  about  the exchange  of  money  between  individuals.  Our  aim  is  to  examine  how  the  dopaminergic  system influences  decisions  in  healthy  male  volunteers.  


Participation: For this study we recruited 78 volunteers from the Cambridge BioResource to attend  a  single  session where they recieved one of three different treatments: either a lower dose (100 mg), a higher dose (800 mg) of a medication that affects dopamine (sulpiride) or an inactive ‘placebo’ capsule.

Organisation: This study is organised by Dr. Ulrich Mueller from the University of Cambridge.