Article

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: 1.64). 12/2005; 16(17):1905-8. DOI: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000186596.64458.76
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ABSTRACT 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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    • "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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