Regional gray matter correlates of perceived emotional intelligence

Nancy S. Koven, Robert M. Roth, Matthew A. Garlinghouse, Laura A. Flashman, Andrew Saykin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coping with stressful life events requires a degree of skill in the ability to attend to, comprehend, label, communicate and regulate emotions. Individuals vary in the extent to which these skills are developed, with the term 'alexithymia' often applied in the clinical and personality literature to those individuals most compromised in these skills. Although a frontal lobe model of alexithymia is emerging, it is unclear whether such a model satisfactorily reflects brain-related patterns associated with perceived emotional intelligence at the facet level. To determine whether these trait meta-mood facets (ability to attend to, have clarity of and repair emotions) have unique gray matter volume correlates, a voxel-based morphometry study was conducted in 30 healthy adults using the Trait Meta Mood Scale while co-varying for potentially confounding sociodemographic variables. Poorer Attention to Emotion was associated with lower gray matter volume in clusters distributed primarily throughout the frontal lobe, with peak correlation in the left medial frontal gyrus. Poorer Mood Repair was related to lower gray matter volume in three clusters in frontal and inferior parietal areas, with peak correlation in the left anterior cingulate. No significant volumetric correlations emerged for the Clarity of Emotion facet. We discuss the localization of these areas in the context of cortical circuits known to be involved in processes of self-reflection and cognitive control.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbernsq084
Pages (from-to)582-590
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

Emotional Intelligence
Emotions
Affective Symptoms
Aptitude
Frontal Lobe
Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
Gyrus Cinguli
Prefrontal Cortex
Personality
Gray Matter
Brain

Keywords

  • Alexithymia
  • Neuroimaging
  • Perceived emotional intelligence
  • Trait meta-mood
  • Voxel based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Regional gray matter correlates of perceived emotional intelligence. / Koven, Nancy S.; Roth, Robert M.; Garlinghouse, Matthew A.; Flashman, Laura A.; Saykin, Andrew.

In: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Vol. 6, No. 5, nsq084, 10.2011, p. 582-590.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Koven, Nancy S. ; Roth, Robert M. ; Garlinghouse, Matthew A. ; Flashman, Laura A. ; Saykin, Andrew. / Regional gray matter correlates of perceived emotional intelligence. In: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 5. pp. 582-590.
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