The Success of Facial Expression Recognition by Carriers of Various Genotypes of the COMT, DRD4, 5HT2A, MAOA GENES



The work is aimed at describing the relationship between the genes COMT, DRD4, 5HT2A, MAOA with the success of facial expression recognition. These genes play an important role in various emotional and cognitive processes. At the same time, hereditary aspects of recognition of facial expressions, in contrast to sociocultural ones, have not been studied enough to date. The study involved 87 healthy students of Russian universities (20.4 ± 2.6 years). DNA analysis was carried out with the determination of genotypes by the polymorphic loci of the genes rs4680 COMT, rs6313 5HT2A (HTR2A), rs1800955 DRD4, VNTR MAOA (RSMU, Rostov-on-Don). The participants of the study were asked to distinguish emotional facial expressions in photographs taken from the MMI, KDEF, Rafd, WSEFEP image databases. The obtained results indicate the following differences in the success of facial expression recognition: carriers of the Val/Val genotype of the COMT gene significantly better recognize the emotions of surprise (H=7.7, df=2, p=0.02), fear (H=10.5, df=2, p=0.005), sadness (H=11.2, df=2, p=0.004); carriers of the heterozygous C/T genotype of the DRD4 gene significantly better recognize facial expression of disgust (H=9.1, df=2, p=0.01). No relationship was found between the MAOA gene genotypes and the success of emotion recognition.

General Information

Keywords: COMT, DRD4, 5HT2A (HTR2A), MAOA, facial expressions, emotions, emotion recognition

Journal rubric: Face Science

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian scientific fund (RSF), project number 20-64- 47057.

Received: 08.06.2022


For citation: Kovsh E.M., Yavna D.V., Babenko V.V., Ermakov P.N., Vorobyeva E.V., Denisova E.G., Alekseeva D.S. The Success of Facial Expression Recognition by Carriers of Various Genotypes of the COMT, DRD4, 5HT2A, MAOA GENES. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2022. Vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 121–139. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2022150309. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

E M. Kovsh, PhD in Psychology, Lecturer, Psychophysiology and Clinical Psychology Department, Southern Federal University, Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Denis V. Yavna, PhD in Psychology, Associcate Professor at the Department of Psychophysiology and Clinical Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Vitaliy V. Babenko, Doctor of Biology, Professor, Professor at the Department of Psychophysiology and Clinical Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Pavel N. Ermakov, Doctor of Biology, Professor, Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychophysiology, Southern Federal University, Head of the Southern Federal Regional Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Education, Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elena V. Vorobyeva, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Department of Correctional Pedagogy, Academy of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Southern Federal University, Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Ekaterina G. Denisova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Psychophysiology and Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Pedagogy and Defectology, Don State Technical University, Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Daria S. Alekseeva, MA in Psychology, Junior Researcher, Regional Research Center of the Russian Academy of Education in the Southern Federal District, Southern Federal University, Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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