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Brain structure correlates of emotion-based rash impulsivity

Muhlert, N. ORCID: and Lawrence, A. D. ORCID: 2015. Brain structure correlates of emotion-based rash impulsivity. NeuroImage 115 , pp. 138-146. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.04.061

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Negative urgency (the tendency to engage in rash, ill-considered action in response to intense negative emotions), is a personality trait that has been linked to problematic involvement in several risky and impulsive behaviours, and to various forms of disinhibitory psychopathology, but its neurobiological correlates are poorly understood. Here, we explored whether inter-individual variation in levels of trait negative urgency was associated with inter-individual variation in regional grey matter volumes. Using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in a sample (n = 152) of healthy participants, we found that smaller volumes of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and right temporal pole, regions previously linked to emotion appraisal, emotion regulation and emotion-based decision-making, were associated with higher levels of trait negative urgency. When controlling for other impulsivity linked personality traits (sensation seeking, lack of planning/ perseverance) and negative emotionality per se (neuroticism), these associations remained, and an additional relationship was found between higher levels of trait negative urgency and smaller volumes of the left ventral striatum. This latter finding mirrors recent VBM findings in an animal model of impulsivity. Our findings offer novel insight into the brain structure correlates of one key source of inter-individual differences in impulsivity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the CC-BY license.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1053-8119
Funders: Waterloo Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Health & Care Research Wales
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 29 April 2015
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 16:01

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