Personality traits share overlapping neuroanatomical correlates with internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Although personality traits have been linked to internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, the extent to which these traits and psychopathological phenotypes share a common neuroanatomical structure is unclear. To address this gap, we used structural neuroimaging and self-report data from 1101 participants in the Human Connectome Project to generate neuroanatomical profiles (NAPs) of FFM traits and psychopathology indices composed of the thickness, surface area, and gray matter volume of each region in the Desikan atlas, then used a profile matching approach to compare the absolute similarity of the FFM trait NAPs and psychopathology index NAPs. These analyses indicated that the NAPs derived from Neuroticism and Extraversion demonstrated medium to large positive and negative absolute similarities to the NAPs of internalizing psychopathology, respectively. Similarly, the NAPs of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness showed medium to large negative relations with the NAPs of antisocial behavior and substance use, respectively. These results suggest that similar neuroanatomical correlates underlie specific personality traits and symptoms of psychopathology, providing support for dimensional models that incorporate personality traits into the etiology and manifestation of psychopathology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).


  • Hyatt, Courtland S
  • Owens, Max M
  • Gray, Joshua C
  • Carter, Nathan T
  • MacKillop, James
  • Sweet, Lawrence H
  • Miller, Joshua D

publication date

  • January 2019