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.

Download full-text


Available from: Turhan Canli
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The current study examined how specific neurological systems contribute to the expression of multiple personality dimensions. We used individuals with traumatic brain injuries to examine the contribution of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)-a region important for executive function and attention-to the expression of neuroticism and conscientiousness factors and facets. Results from Voxel-Based Lesion-Symptom Mapping analyses revealed that focal damage to the left DLPFC (Brodmann's area 9) was associated with high neuroticism and low conscientious factor and facet scores (anxiety and self-discipline, respectively). Compared with lesioned and normal controls, veterans with damage in left DLPFC also reported higher neuroticism and lower conscientiousness facet scores, slower reaction times on the California Computerized Assessment Package assessment, and lower scores on the Delis-Kaplan executive function battery. Findings suggest that while neuroticism and conscientiousness remain psychometrically independent personality dimensions, their component facets may rely on a common neurocognitive infrastructure and executive function resources in general.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Social neuroscience
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Human Brain Mapping
  • Source
    • "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]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mindfulness, a psychological process reflecting attention and awareness to what is happening in the present moment, has been associated with increased well-being and decreased depression and anxiety in both healthy and patient populations. However, little research has explored underlying neural pathways. Recent work suggests that mindfulness (and mindfulness training interventions) may foster neuroplastic changes in cortico-limbic circuits responsible for stress and emotion regulation. Building on this work, we hypothesized that higher levels of dispositional mindfulness would be associated with decreased grey matter volume in the amgydala. In the present study, a self-report measure of dispositional mindfulness and structural MRI images were obtained from 155 healthy community adults. Volumetric analyses showed that higher dispositional mindfulness is associated with decreased grey matter volume in the right amygdala, and exploratory analyses revealed that higher dispositional mindfulness is also associated with decreased grey matter volume in the left caudate. Moreover, secondary analyses indicate that these amygdala and caudate volume associations persist after controlling for relevant demographic and individual difference factors (i.e., age, total grey matter volume, neuroticism, depression). Such volumetric differences may help explain why mindful individuals have reduced stress reactivity, and suggest new candidate structural neurobiological pathways linking mindfulness with mental and physical health outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · PLoS ONE
Show more