Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Population Migration and the Variation of Dopamine D4 Receptor (DRD4) Allele Frequencies Around the Globe


This article reports an association between the variation of dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) allele frequencies around the globe and population migration patterns in prehistoric times. After compiling existing data on DRD4 allele frequencies of 2,320 individuals from 39 populations and on the migration pattern of these groups, we found that, compared to sedentary populations, migratory populations showed a higher proportion of long alleles for DRD4. The correlation between macro-migration (long-distance group migration) and the proportion of long alleles of DRD4 was .85 (p < .001), and that between micro-migration (sedentary vs. nomadic settlement) and the proportion of long alleles was .52 (p = .001). We discussed the adaptive value of long alleles of DRD4 - a genetic trait that has been linked in some studies to the personality trait of novelty-seeking and to hyperactivity - in migratory societies and the possibility of natural selection for a migration gene. © 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View