Healthy | Explore the Nature Factors Relevant to Learning-Pioneering Natural Factors That Influences Science Learning II

Healthy research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Genetic research has provided the most exciting breakthroughs in neuroscience and cognitive science. Partially genetically determined cognitive impairments have been described in people with COMT, 5HT6, BDNF (Swillen et al., 2000; Moss et al., 1999, Henry et al., 2002, Bilder et al., 2002)and biological systemic pathway candidate genes. Selective inhibitors of COMT proved to improve cognitive function in animals and in patients with Parkinson's disease (Carlsson, et al, 2000). Recent studies suggested that variation in COMT activity might have neurobiological effects specific to the prefrontal cortex; the COMT (Val) allele with high activity impairs tasks of prefrontal cognition in people with schizophrenia (Egan et al., 2001) and higher loading of the COMT (Met) allele is associated with better cognitive performance on attention and processing speed in people with chronic schizophrenia (Bilder et al., 2002). Moreover, prefrontal dopamine levels are increased in COMT knockout mouse model (Gogos et al., 1998). This suggests that in people who have heterozygosis on COMT, dopamine levels could be abnormal. Thus, variation in COMT expression could also affect performance on prefrontal cognitive tasks. In the previous study, we found the neuropsychological profile in students with COMT (Met) allele is better in object perception, problem solving and planning, and abstract and social thinking (Henry et al., 2002). 5-HT6 inhibitor has been reported to raise extracellular acetylcholine levels in the cortex and hippocampus (Dawson et al., 2001 and Riemer et al., 2003). Acetylcholine release in hippocampal and cortical regions is known to be important for memory acquisition and retention, and several groups have demonstrated that 5-HT6 blockade overcomes scopolamine-induced amnesia. We hypothesize that variations in COMT and 5-HT6 are associated with genotype that will cause a poor/better performance in cognitive tasks. With the aim to establish the possible correlation between candidate genes (COMT, 5HT6,BDNF and biological systemic pathway candidate genes. etc) and cognitive ability, which will provide us an understanding on factors and its extent that affect students' thinking, and then develop appropriate teaching models or strategies for assisting students in learning. It seems timely, therefore, to consider how we might implement our increased understanding of brain development and brain function to explore educational questions.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - Healthy volunteers with inform concern

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?


Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.


Study Status

Unknown status

Start Date: August 2006

Completed Date:


Type: Observational


Primary Outcome: observational studies, related to core objectives of the study and learning.

Secondary Outcome:

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Chung Yi Hu, PhD

Lead Sponsor: National Taiwan University Hospital


More information:

Discuss Amnesia