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Neural basis of personality

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Clara LS

on 30 November 2014

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Transcript of Neural basis of personality

Agreeableness
Extraversion
Conscientiousness
Introduction
Bibliography
Social Anxiety Disorder
Link in the brain
Medial Orbitofrontal Cortex
Anterior cingulate cortex
Amygdala
Dopamine + opioid systems
Fear and avoid the scrutiny of others
Concern about saying or doing something that will result in embarrassment or humiliation
Differences
Pathological intraversion?
‘The tendency to experience the negative emotions and cognitions that accompagny experiences of threat and punishment, including anxiety, depression, anger, irritation, self-conciousness, rumination and vulnerability’


‘Neuroticism reflects a global dimension of negative emotionality that encompasses the tendencies to experience negative affect in the face of minor stressors, to be aroused quickly and for arousal to fall slowly following stimulation. It also reflects tendencies towards worrying and post-event processing, tendencies to appraise events as stressful and an inability to control urges. A core feature of neuroticism is a difficulty in emotion regulation'
Big five personality trait
Relatively stable over time
Hard to change with therapeutic interventions

Link between neuroticism and depression?
Common cause theory: common genetic and environmental determinants
Vulnerability model: neuroticism → psychological processes → depression

Anterior Cingulate Cortex
Larger in neurotic people

--> higher sensitivity to:
the possibility of error following punishment
the possibility of pain following punishment

Prefrontal Cortex

Smaller in neurotic people

Related to poor emotion regulation

Hippocampus

Smaller in neurotic people

A role in detection of uncertainty and goal conflict --> declares high sensitivity towards uncertainty in neurotic people
Linking the brain systems together?

BIS system:
inhibition of responses
orientation of attention to threat
enhancement of arousal

The link to depression
Serotonergic activity
Emotion regulation ~ amygdala
HPA-axis
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) - specific association

Abnormal connectivity OFC <--> Amygdala
Excitatory connection
Hyperreactivity in limbic brain regions
Orbitofrontal
cortex
Amygdala
What is agreeableness?
One of the big 5 personality traits
Tendency toward altruism and cooperation as opposed to antisocial and exploitative behavior
Differences
agreeable people
non agreeable people
What is psychopathy?
Diminished empathy and remorse
Disinhibited, bold behaviour
Highly comorbid with antisocial personality disorder
The link between psychopathy and agreeableness
Agreeableness is a
robust predictor
of psychopathy

Agreeableness and psychopathy in the brain
James Fallon's case
Pro-social psychopath:
based on further neurological and behavioral research into psychopathy

MAO-A gene
PET scans



OPENNESS
to experience
|
intellect
engagement with aesthetic or sensory information
engagement with abstract or intellectual information
"tendency to process abstract and perceptual information flexibly and effectively, and includes traits such as imagination, intellectual engagement, and aesthetic interest."
Are you open/intellectual?
fifth factor
‘‘Intellect’’ (e.g., intellectuality and intelligence)
‘‘Openness’’ (e.g., imagination, unconventionality, interest in art)
either label would be appropriate (e.g., curiosity, creativity).
(DeYoung, 2010, pp. 1172).

(Barnhofer & Chittka, 2010, pp. 275).
Social relevance
Prevention
Trait marked by pronounced engagement with the external world
Intervention
Low extraversion
Bahrami, H., Borjali, A., Ghadesi, D., & Sohrabi, F. (2011). Survey the relationship between five factor model and psychopathic personality in a sample of male prisoners in Iran.
Annals of Biological Research, 2
(6), 116-122.
Bailley, E., S., Lutz, J., C., & Ross, R., S. (2004). Psychopathy and the Five Factor Model in a Noninstitutionalized Sample: A Domain and Facet Level Analysis.
Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 26
(4), 213-223.
Caspi et al. (2010). Adolescent Psychopathy and the Big Five: Results from Two Samples.
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 33
(4), 431-443.
Barnhofer T. & Chittka, T. (2010). Cognitive reactivity mediates the relationship between neuroticism and depression.
Behaviour research and therapy, 48
, 275-281. Doi:10.1016/j.brat.2009.12.005.
Berger et al. (2013). Brain volumes differ between diagnostic groups of violent criminal offenders.
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 263
(2), 593–606
Bremner, J.D., Narayan, M., Anderson, E.R., Staib, L.H., Miller, H.L. & Charney, D.S. (2000). Hippocampal Volume Reduction in Major Depression.
American Journal of Psychiatry, 157
, 115-117.
Canli, T. (2008). Toward a neurogenetic theory of neuroticism.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
, 1129, 153-174. Doi: 10.1196/annals.1417.022.
Cremers H, van Tol M-J, Roelofs K, Aleman A, Zitman FG, et al. (2011) Extraversion is linked to volume of the Orbitofrontal Cortex and Amygdala.
PLoS ONE
6(12): e28421. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028421
Davidson, R.J., Pizzagalli, D., Nitschke, J.B. & Putnam, K. (2002). Depression: perspectives from affective neuroscience.
Annual reviews of Psychology, 53
, 545-574. Doi: 0084-6570/02/0201-0545
DeYoung, C.G., Hirsh, J.B., Shane, M.S., Papademetris, X., Rajeevan, N., & Gray, J.R. (2010). Testing Predictions from Personality Neuroscience: Brain Structure and the Big Five.
Psychological Science
, 21(6), 820–828.
DeYoung, C.G. (2010). Personality and the biology of traits.
Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4
(12), 1165-1180. Doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00327.x.

what is conscientiousness?

competence
order
dutifulness
achievement - striving
self-discipline
cautiousness
conscientiousness
in the brain
left middle frontal gyrus
lateral prefrontal
cortex
plan and follow complex rules
maintaining information in working memory
execution of planned action
amygdala & nucleus accumbens
low serotonin
absence of control
lack of restraining impulses, aggression, depression.
conscientiousness
and neurodegenerative
diseases
frontotemporal dementia
Occurring symptoms
Loss of inhibitions
Social inappropriate behavior
Executive dysfunction disruption in the ability to plan and order
Increase of selfishness
Apathy
Compulsive behavior

frontal mass decreases, conscientiousness decreases !
most important
Methods
PFC
working

a
b
s
t
r
a
c
t
r
e
a
s
o
n
i
n
g
CONTROL
of
attention
higher activity

bigger volume
memory
DOPAMINE
hormone and neurotransmiter
dopaminergic system
projections to brain structures
functioning of regions like the PFC,
independent
of modulation by dopamine
innervation
of these regions by dopaminergic neurons
sensitivity and activity
of the dopaminergic system itself
dealing with novelty
generating plans
considering possibilities
analyzing and synthesizing abstract or complex relations
WORKING MEMORY
PFC = dopamine
strongest in the dorsolateral region
enhances dorsolateral PFC functions SPECIFICALLY
DORSOLATERAL PFC
DORSOLATERAL PFC
DOPAMINERGIC PROJECTIONS
strongest in the dorsolateral PFC
enhance specifical functions
allow entrance of new information and/or improve processing
WORKING MEMORY
=
dealing with novelty
generating plans
considering possibilities
complex abstract relations
increased dopaminergic activation
=
increased cognitive flexibility
tests of cognitive ability and working memory
+
DOPAMINERGIC SYSTEM
=
OPENNESS / INTELLECT
more linked to intelligence and working memory
FRONTAL POLE
abstract integration of multiple cognitive operations
drawing abstract analogies
pMFC
monitoring goal - directed performance
detecting the likelihood of error during cognitive tasks
Selfishness, callousness, and interpersonal manipulation


low Agreeableness
Impulsity, instability and social deviance


low agreeableness,
high neuroticism
Empathy
Theory of mind
Social information reasoning
Superior temporal gyrus
Posterior cingulate cortex
‘The tendency
to experience the negative emotions and cognitions that accompagny experiences of threat and punishment
, including anxiety, depression, anger, irritation, self-conciousness, rumination and vulnerability’


‘Neuroticism reflects a
global dimension of negative emotionality
that encompasses the
tendencies to experience negative affect
in the face of minor
stressors,
to be
aroused quickly
and for arousal to fall slowly following stimulation. It also reflects tendencies towards
worrying and post-event processing
, tendencies to
appraise events as stressful
and an
inability to control urges
. A core feature of neuroticism is a
difficulty in emotion regulation
'
neural correlates of the psychopathic core features of callousness and poor moral
(DeYoung, 2010, pp. 1172).
(Barnhofer & Chittka, 2010, pp. 275).
1. Stress dysregulates HPA-ax
2. Hippocampal volume reduces
3. Activity in prefrontal cortex reduces
4. Result: homeostasis within neurocircuit of depression disrupted




linked to 'theory of mind' and moral reasoning
associated with psychopathy
Low extraversion
Differences
Pathological introversion
Foster, J.A. & MacQueen, G. (2008). Neurobiological factors linking personality traits and major depression.
Canadian journal of psychiatry, 53
, 6-13.
Hansell, N.K., Wright, M.J., Medland, S.E., Davenport, T.A., Wray, N.R., Martin, N.G. & Hickie, I.B. (2012). Genetic comorbidity between neuroticism, anxiety/depression and somatic distress in a population sample of adolescent and young adult twins.
Psychological medicine, 42
, 1249-1260. Doi:10.1017/S0033291711002431.
Lane, C. (2007).
Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness
. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
Ormel, J., Bastiaansen, A., Riese, H., Bos, E.H., Servaas, M., Ellenbogen, M., … Aleman, A. (2013). The biological and psychological basis of neuroticism: current status and future directions.
Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, 37
, 59-72. Doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.09.004.
Ormel, J., Jeronimus, B.F., Kotov, R., Riese, H., Bos, E.H., Hankin, B., … Oldehinkel, A.J. (2013). Neuroticism and common mental disorders: meaning and utility of a complex relationship.
Clinical psychology review, 33
, 686-697. Doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2013.04.003.
Palazidou, E. (2012). The neurobiology of depression.
British medical bulletin, 101
, 127-145. Doi:10.1093/bmb/lds004
Raine, A., & Yang, Y. (2009). Prefrontal structural and functional brain imaging findings in antisocial, analysis.
Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 174
(2), 81-88.
Roelofs, J., Huibers, M., Peeters, F., Arntz, A. & van Os, J. (2008). Rumination and worrying as possible mediators in the relation between neuroticism and depression and anxiety in clinically depressed individuals.
Behaviour research and therapy, 46,
1283-1289. Doi:10.1016/j.brat.2008.10.002
Sladky, R., Höflich, A., et al. (2012) Increased Neural Habituation in the Amygdala and Orbitofrontal Cortex in Social Anxiety Disorder Revealed by fMRI.
PLoS ONE, 29
, 7(11).
Sladky, R., Höflich, A., et al. (2013). Disrupted Effective Connectivity Between the Amygdala and Orbitofrontal Cortex in Social Anxiety Disorder During Emotion Discrimination Revealed by Dynamic Causal Modeling for fMRI.
Cereb. Cortex
, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht279. [epub]
Stein, M.B, & Stein, D.J. (2008). Social anxiety disorder.
The Lancet, 371
, 1115–1125.
Terracciano, A., Lobina, M., Piras, M.G., Mulas, A., Cannas, A., Meirelles, O., … Schlessinger, D. (2011).
Psychosomatic medicine, 73
, 638-642. Doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182306a4f.
Perry, DC & Miller BL , (2013). frontotemporal dementia .
seminars in neurology
. 33 (4), 336-341

DISCUSSION
The research towards the neurobiology of personality is still in its infancy and our current understanding of neurobiology seems to be insufficient to develop a model of personality that is only derived from biological variables (Foster & Macqueen, 2008)
.

NATURE VS NURTURE
Do you think that neuroscience can say anything useful about the underlying brain mechanisms of personality? And about the relation between the brain and psychiatric disorders?
Do you think they should be held responsible for their actions?

“I’m obnoxiously competitive. I won’t let my grandchildren win games. I’m kind of an asshole, and I do jerky things that piss people off. I’m aggressive, but my aggression is sublimated. I’d rather beat someone in an argument than beat them up.”

There are some people who have had a brain damage and afterward experienced a drastic change in personality.
By looking inside the brain we can discover many things about people's personality.
How far do you think we should go? Is it ethic to classify a person according to what his/her brain structure shows?
Neuroscience in general is based on LOCALIZATIONISM - theory that different brain functions can be localized to different physical regions of the brain.
The other idea, that has only lately rised, is NEURPLASTICITY - brain's ability to change neural pathways and improve/replace some functions
How does our brain work? Are functions localized, or plastic and dynamic? If the brain really is plastic, is there any point in trying to find personality trait in one single structure?
What plays bigger role in the development of personality: brain (NATURE) or the environment (NURTURE)?
We've heard dozen of findings about the way in which the architecture of the brain predisposes personality.
Full transcript