Although it is known that health is not merely the absence of disease, the positive aspects of mental health have been less comprehensively researched compared with its negative aspects. Subjective well-being (SWB) is one of the indicators of positive psychology, and high SWB is considered to benefit individuals in multiple ways. However, the neural mechanisms underlying individual differences in SWB remain unclear, particularly in terms of brain microstructural properties as detected by diffusion tensor imaging. The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between measurements of diffusion tensor imaging [mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy] and the degree of SWB as measured using a questionnaire. Voxel-based analysis was used to investigate the association between MD and SWB scores in healthy young adults (age, 20.7 ± 1.8 years; 695 males and 514 females). Higher levels of SWB were found to be associated with lower MD in areas surrounding the right putamen, insula, globus pallidus, thalamus and caudate. These results indicated that individual SWB is associated with variability in brain microstructural properties.
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