Personality factors correlate with regional cerebral perfusion

R L O'gorman, V Kumari, S C Williams, F O Zelaya, S E Connor, D C Alsop, J A Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


There is an increasing body of evidence pointing to a neurobiological basis of personality. The purpose of this study was to investigate the biological bases of the major dimensions of Eysenck's and Cloninger's models of personality using a noninvasive magnetic resonance perfusion imaging technique in 30 young, healthy subjects. An unbiased voxel-based analysis was used to identify regions where the regional perfusion demonstrated significant correlation with any of the personality dimensions. Highly significant positive correlations emerged between extraversion and perfusion in the basal ganglia, thalamus, inferior frontal gyros and cerebellum and between novelty seeking and perfusion in the cerebellum, caucus and thalamus. Strong negative correlations emerged between psychoticism and perfusion in the basal ganglia and thalamus and between harm avoidance and perfusion in the cerebellar vermis, cuneus and inferior frontal gyrus. These observations suggest that personality traits are strongly associated with resting cerebral perfusion in a variety of cortical and subcortical regions and provide further evidence for the hypothesized neurobiological basis of personality. These results may also have important implications for functional neuroimaging studies, which typically rely on the modulation of cerebral hemodynamics for detection of task-induced activation since personality effects may influence the intersubject variability for both task-related activity and resting cerebral perfusion. This technique also offers a novel approach for the exploration of the neurobiological correlates of human personality. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489 - 495
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


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