Gray Matter Volume of a Region in the Thalamic Pulvinar Is Specifically Associated with Novelty Seeking

Daphne Stam, Yun-An Huang, Jan Van den Stock*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Personality reflects the set of psychological traits and mechanisms characteristic for an individual. Geno-neuro-biologically inspired personality accounts have proposed a set of temperaments and characters that jointly compose personality profiles. The present study addresses the link between neurobiology and personality and investigates the association between temperament traits and regional gray matter volume. Furthermore, the specificity of these associations as well as the underlying components that drive the association are addressed. One hundred and four participants completed the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) and underwent structural magnetic resonance brain imaging. The participants included premanifest carriers of Huntington's disease, as this population is associated with temperament-related neuropsychiatric symptoms. Whole brain voxel-based multiple regression analyses on gray matter volume revealed a significant specific positive correlation between a region in the left thalamic pulvinar and novelty seeking score, controlled for the other traits (P-height < 0.05, FWE-corrected). No significant associations were observed for the other temperament traits. Region of interest analyses showed that this association is driven by the subscale NS2: impulsiveness. The results increase the knowledge of the structural neurobiology of personality and indicate that individual differences in novelty seeking reflect the structural differences observed in the brain in an area that is widely and densely connected, which is in line with the typically domain-general behavioral influence of personality traits on a wide range of affective, perceptual, mnemotic, executive, and other cognitive functions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number203
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • novelty seeking
  • voxel-based morphometry
  • thalamus
  • pulvinar
  • impulsiveness
  • TRIDIMENSIONAL PERSONALITY QUESTIONNAIRE
  • GLUTAMATE-RECEPTOR 5
  • SENSATION SEEKING
  • HARM AVOIDANCE
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • HUNTINGTONS-DISEASE
  • VISUAL-CORTEX
  • WHOLE-BODY
  • TRAITS
  • TEMPERAMENT

Cite this