Personality traits reflect key aspects of individual variability in different psychological domains. Understanding the mechanisms that give rise to these differences requires an exhaustive investigation of the behaviors associated with such traits, and their underlying neural sources. Here we investigated the mechanisms underlying agreeableness, one of the five major dimensions of personality, which has been linked mainly to socio-cognitive functions. In particular, we examined whether individual differences in the neural representations of social information are related to differences in agreeableness of individuals. To this end, we adopted a multivariate representational similarity approach that captured within single individuals the activation pattern similarity of social and non-social content, and tested its relation to the agreeableness trait in a hypothesis-driven manner. The main result confirmed our prediction: processing social and non-social content led to similar patterns of activation in individuals with low agreeableness, while in more agreeable individuals these patterns were more dissimilar. Critically, this association between agreeableness and encoding similarity of social and random content was significant only in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, a brain region consistently involved during attributions of mental states. The present finding reveals the link between neural mechanisms underlying social information processing and agreeableness, a personality trait highly related to socio-cognitive abilities, thereby providing a step forward in characterizing its neural determinants. Furthermore, it emphasizes the advantage of multivariate pattern analysis approaches in capturing and understanding the neural sources of individual variations.

Representation of social content in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex underlies individual differences in agreeableness trait / Arbula, S.; Pisanu, E.; Rumiati, R. I.. - In: NEUROIMAGE. - ISSN 1053-8119. - 235:(2021). [10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118049]

Representation of social content in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex underlies individual differences in agreeableness trait

Arbula, S.
Membro del Collaboration group
;
Pisanu, E.;Rumiati, R. I.
Supervision
2021-01-01

Abstract

Personality traits reflect key aspects of individual variability in different psychological domains. Understanding the mechanisms that give rise to these differences requires an exhaustive investigation of the behaviors associated with such traits, and their underlying neural sources. Here we investigated the mechanisms underlying agreeableness, one of the five major dimensions of personality, which has been linked mainly to socio-cognitive functions. In particular, we examined whether individual differences in the neural representations of social information are related to differences in agreeableness of individuals. To this end, we adopted a multivariate representational similarity approach that captured within single individuals the activation pattern similarity of social and non-social content, and tested its relation to the agreeableness trait in a hypothesis-driven manner. The main result confirmed our prediction: processing social and non-social content led to similar patterns of activation in individuals with low agreeableness, while in more agreeable individuals these patterns were more dissimilar. Critically, this association between agreeableness and encoding similarity of social and random content was significant only in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, a brain region consistently involved during attributions of mental states. The present finding reveals the link between neural mechanisms underlying social information processing and agreeableness, a personality trait highly related to socio-cognitive abilities, thereby providing a step forward in characterizing its neural determinants. Furthermore, it emphasizes the advantage of multivariate pattern analysis approaches in capturing and understanding the neural sources of individual variations.
2021
235
118049
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118049
Arbula, S.; Pisanu, E.; Rumiati, R. I.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11767/127793
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