Naughty or Nice? Personality Traits Linked to Differences in Brain Structure

neurosciencenews.com

Our personality may be shaped by how our brain works, but in fact the shape of our brain can itself provide surprising clues about how we behave -- and our risk of developing mental health disorders. According to psychologists, the extraordinary variety of human personality can be broken down into the so-called 'Big Five' personality traits, namely neuroticism (how moody a person is), extraversion (how enthusiastic a person is), openness (how open-minded a person is), agreeableness (a measure of altruism), and conscientiousness (a measure of self-control). In particular, the researchers looked at differences in the brain cortical anatomy (the structure of the outer layer of the brain) as indexed by three measures -- the thickness, area, and amount of folding in the cortex -- and how these measures related to the Big Five personality traits.

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