On feeling in control: a biological theory for individual differences in control perception.

University of Antwerp, Department of Business Economics, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium.
Brain and Cognition (Impact Factor: 2.68). 12/2006; 62(2):143-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2006.04.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This review aims to create a cross-disciplinary framework for understanding the perception of control. Although, the personality trait locus of control, the most common measure of control perception, has traditionally been regarded as a product of social learning, it may have biological antecedents as well. It is suggested that control perception follows from the brain's capacity for self regulation, leading to flexible and goal directed behaviours. To this account, a model is presented which spans several levels of analyses. On a behavioural level, control perception may be a corollary of emotion regulation, executive functions, and social cognition. On a neural level, these self-regulatory functions are substantiated in part by the dorsolateral and ventral prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex. In addition, a possible role of subcortical-cortical dopamine pathways underlying control perception is discussed.

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