Amygdala gray matter concentration is associated with extraversion and neuroticis

Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-2500, USA.
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.52). 12/2005; 16(17):1905-8. DOI: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000186596.64458.76
Source: PubMed


Using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry in 41 healthy individuals, this study evaluated the association between the personality traits of extraversion and neuroticism, on the one hand, and individual differences in localized brain volume and gray matter concentration, on the other, with a special focus on the amygdala. Extraversion was positively correlated with gray matter concentration in the left amygdala, whereas neuroticism was negatively correlated with gray matter concentration in the right amygdala. Given that neuroticism is a risk factor for depression, our finding offers one explanation as to why prior structural imaging studies of depressed patients (which did not control for personality) produced conflicting findings. Furthermore, our data are consistent with the view that amygdala reduction seen in depressed patients precedes the onset of the disease, rather than being a consequence of the illness.

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    • "In general, neuroticism is inversely related to brain volume in normal populations (Knutson et al., 2001) and is specifically associated with decreased volume (e.g., gray matter concentration and cortical thickness) in the superior and inferior frontal cortex (Brodmann's areas (BAs) 6, 44), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (PFC), orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and amygdala (Blankenstein, Chen, Mincic, McGrath, & Davis, 2009; DeYoung et al., 2010; Omura et al., 2005; Wright, Williams, Feczko, Feldman-Barrett, & Dickerson, 2006; 2007). These findings suggest a prominent role for integrated cortical and subcortical planning, threatdetection , risk/reward, and learning systems in the expression of trait neuroticism. "
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    Social neuroscience 01/2014; 9(2). DOI:10.1080/17470919.2013.871333 · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    • "As a result, the strong associations we detected between certain regions reported by Wright et al. with other Factors [such as the association between (R) BA 6 and (L) BA 10 with C] may have rendered any weaker associations with N and E nonsignificant. Similarly , unlike previous studies [DeYoung et al., 2010; Omura et al., 2005; Rauch et al., 2005], we did not find any positive association between E and medial OFC, perhaps due to the much older age of our cohort (compared with [DeYoung et al., 2010]), the fact that we adjusted for total ICV, and the fact that, having included all personality Factors in the same GLM (unlike [Omura et al., 2005; Rauch et al., 2005]), we found two large (R) medial OFC clusters to be negatively associated with O. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although personality changes have been associated with brain lesions and atrophy caused by neurodegenerative diseases and aging, neuroanatomical correlates of personality in healthy individuals and their stability over time have received relatively little investigation. In this study, we explored regional gray matter (GM) volumetric associations of the five-factor model of personality. Eighty-seven healthy older adults took the NEO Personality Inventory and had brain MRI at two time points 2 years apart. We performed GM segmentation followed by regional analysis of volumes examined in normalized space map creation and voxel based morphometry-type statistical inference in SPM8. We created a regression model including all five factors and important covariates. Next, a conjunction analysis identified associations between personality scores and GM volumes that were replicable across time, also using cluster-level Family-Wise-Error correction. Larger right orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices and rolandic operculum were associated with lower Neuroticism; larger left temporal, dorsolateral prefrontal, and anterior cingulate cortices with higher Extraversion; larger right frontopolar and smaller orbitofrontal and insular cortices with higher Openness; larger right orbitofrontal cortex with higher Agreeableness; larger dorsolateral prefrontal and smaller frontopolar cortices with higher Conscientiousness. In summary, distinct personality traits were associated with stable individual differences in GM volumes. As expected for higher-order traits, regions performing a large number of cognitive and affective functions were implicated. Our findings highlight personality-related variation that may be related to individual differences in brain structure that merit additional attention in neuroimaging research. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 11/2013; 34(11). DOI:10.1002/hbm.22108 · 5.97 Impact Factor
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    • "Previous research examining the relationship between personality traits and brain volumes has shown that individual differences in a variety of personality measures – including novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence, and persistence [76], extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness [77] - may reflect differences in the structural properties of different brain regions. In particular, individual differences in trait neuroticism have been negatively associated with the brain to intracranial volume ratio [60] and gray matter concentration in the right amygdala [78], and positively associated with gray matter volume in cingulate and left caudate [77]. These results are of particular interest in relation to our findings, as neuroticism has been used in these studies as an index of stress reactivity, particularly the anxiety-related subscales of neuroticism [60]. "
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    PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e64574. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0064574 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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