Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 169–181

Personality from a controlled processing perspective: An fMRI study of neuroticism, extraversion, and self-consciousness


DOI: 10.3758/CABN.5.2.169

Cite this article as:
Eisenberger, N.I., Lieberman, M.D. & Satpute, A.B. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience (2005) 5: 169. doi:10.3758/CABN.5.2.169


Although neuroticism has been central to most theories of personality, self-reported neuroticism has had limited success in predicting expected behavioral outcomes. The reason for this may be due, in part, to the imprecision of self-reports. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between neural correlates of control systems and neuroticism, extraversion, and self-consciousness. In response to an oddball task, neuroticism was associated with increased dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) reactivity, typically associated with discrepancy detection, whereas extraversion and self-consciousness were associated with lateral and medial frontoparietal networks, respectively, typically associated with task-focused (lateral) or self-focused (medial) controlled processes. We also examined whether the neural measure of neuroticism would predict a relevant behavioral outcome better than self-reports would. Interoceptive accuracy, an outcome associated with neuroticism, was better accounted for by dACC reactivity (r2=.74) than by self-reported neuroticism (r2=.16), suggesting that neural reactivities may provide a more direct measure of personality than self-reports do.

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© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles