White matter integrity and behavioral activation in healthy subjects

Jiansong Xu, Hedy Kober, Kathleen M. Carroll, Bruce J. Rounsaville, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Marc N. Potenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individual differences in behavioral inhibition and behavioral activation may place certain people at greater risk for neuropsychiatric disorders and engagement in risky behaviors. Therefore, studying the neural correlates of behavioral inhibition and activation may help us understand neural mechanisms underlying risk behaviors in both clinical and non-clinical populations. To investigate, we assessed the relationships between white matter integrity and measures of behavioral inhibition and behavioral activation in 51 healthy participants using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and the Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System (BIS/BAS) scale. Scores on the Fun-Seeking subscale of the BAS positively correlated with DTI fractional anisotropy in the left corona radiata and adjacent superior longitudinal fasciculus, and with mean diffusivity in the left inferior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus after controlling for age, gender, and education. These findings suggest that the integrity of white matter connecting extensive brain regions implicated in self-control and the processing of rewards and emotions are associated with individual differences in the motivation for seeking and participating in fun and novel experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1002
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral activation
  • Behavioral inhibition
  • Cognitive control
  • DTI
  • Neuroimaging
  • Self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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