Externalizing personality traits, empathy, and gray matter volume in healthy young drinkers

Judith Charpentier, Mario Dzemidzic, John West, Brandon G. Oberlin, William J A Eiler, Andrew Saykin, David Kareken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Externalizing psychopathology has been linked to prefrontal abnormalities. While clinically diagnosed subjects show altered frontal gray matter, it is unknown if similar deficits relate to externalizing traits in non-clinical populations. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to retrospectively analyze the cerebral gray matter volume of 176 young adult social to heavy drinkers (mean age=24.0±2.9, male=83.5%) from studies of alcoholism risk. We hypothesized that prefrontal gray matter volume and externalizing traits would be correlated. Externalizing personality trait components-Boredom Susceptibility-Impulsivity (BS/IMP) and Empathy/Low Antisocial Behaviors (EMP/LASB)-were tested for correlations with gray matter partial volume estimates (gmPVE). Significantly large clusters (pFWE7) correlated positively with bilateral inferior frontal/orbitofrontal, and anterior insula gmPVE. In this large sample of community-dwelling young adults, antisocial behavior/low empathy corresponded with reduced prefrontal and occipital gray matter, while impulsivity correlated with increased inferior frontal and anterior insula cortical volume. These findings add to a literature indicating that externalizing personality features involve altered frontal architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume248
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2016

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Personality
Impulsive Behavior
Young Adult
Boredom
Independent Living
Psychopathology
Alcoholism
Gray Matter
Population

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Frontal lobes
  • Impulsivity
  • MRI
  • Personality
  • VBM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Externalizing personality traits, empathy, and gray matter volume in healthy young drinkers. / Charpentier, Judith; Dzemidzic, Mario; West, John; Oberlin, Brandon G.; Eiler, William J A; Saykin, Andrew; Kareken, David.

In: Psychiatry Research - Neuroimaging, Vol. 248, 28.02.2016, p. 64-72.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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