Personality influences limbic-cortical interactions during sad mood induction

Michelle L. Keightley, David A. Seminowicz, R. Michael Bagby, Paul T. Costa, Philippe Fossati, Helen S. Mayberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study examined limbic-cortical activation under transient emotional stress as a function of personality style. A ventral cingulate (Cg25)-centred limbic-cortical network was identified using positron emission tomography (PET) measures of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during a sad mood challenge that demonstrated differences for individuals selected for specific patterns of Negative and Positive emotional traits, indexed by the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised. Healthy subjects scoring both low on the dispositional Depression facet of Neuroticism (N3) and high on the Positive Emotions facet of Extraversion (E6) were compared to those scoring high on the Depression facet (N3) and low on Positive Emotions (E6), a combination of traits previously linked to normal variations in mood reactivity. Scan analyses were designed to further characterize known variations in Cg25 activity previously reported in studies of negative mood in both healthy subjects and depressed patients. A multivariate technique, partial least squares (PLS) demonstrated a divergent Cg25-mediated network that differentiated temperamentally negative (NAS) from temperamentally positive (PAS) subjects providing a potential neural link between these specific combinations of trait affective styles and vulnerability to depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2031-2039
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Extraversion
  • Mood
  • Neuroticism
  • PET
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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