Correlation between human personality and neural activity in cerebral cortex

Motoaki Sugiura, Ryuta Kawashima, Manabu Nakagawa, Ken Okada, Tachio Sato, Ryoui Goto, Kazunori Sato, Shuichi Ono, Thorsten Schormann, Karl Zilles, Hiroshi Fukuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)


Personality traits are a variance of behavioral patterns among individuals and may reflect a variance of brain activity, but their neurobiological explanation is still a matter of debate. Cloninger proposed three dimensions of personality traits, each of which has strong correlation with activity in a specific central monoaminergic system. Although this theory has been supported by physiological and genetic studies, it is still unclear how these personality parameters are correlated with the activity of the cortical networks which control human behavior. Here we measured the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) at rest in 30 normal volunteers who completed the personality inventory of Cloninger. Voxel-by-voxel analysis was employed to identify cortical regions where the rCBF showed significant correlation with any of the three personality parameters. Statistically significant correlation was observed in several paralimbic and neocortical regions and was consistent with the assumed monoaminergic influence on neural activity and the distribution of its projections, in each personality dimension. The results suggest that activity in a variety of cortical regions is associated with human personality traits and lend support to Cloninger's theory concerning central monoaminergic influence on human personality traits. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
Issue number5 I
Publication statusPublished - 2000 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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