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Personality predicts activity in reward and emotional regions associated with humor

Mobbs, Dean and Hagan, Cindy C. and Azim, Elman and Menon, Vinod and Reiss, Allan L. (2005) Personality predicts activity in reward and emotional regions associated with humor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102 (45). pp. 16502-16506. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC1277964. doi:10.1073/pnas.0408457102.

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Previous research and theory suggest that two stable personality dimensions, extroversion and neuroticism, differentially influence emotional reactivity to a variety of pleasurable phenomena. Here, we use event-related functional MRI to address the putative neural and behavioral associations between humor appreciation and the personality dimensions of introversion-extroversion and emotional stability-neuroticism. Our analysis showed extroversion to positively correlate with humor-driven blood oxygenation level-dependent signal in discrete regions of the right orbital frontal cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and bilateral temporal cortices. Introversion correlated with increased activation in several regions, most prominently the bilateral amygdala. Although neuroticism did not positively correlate with any whole-brain activation, emotional stability (i.e., the inverse of neuroticism) correlated with increased activation in the mesocortical-mesolimbic reward circuitry encompassing the right orbital frontal cortex, caudate, and nucleus accumbens. Our findings tie together existing neurobiological studies of humor appreciation and are compatible with the notion that personality style plays a fundamental role in the neurobiological systems subserving humor appreciation.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Mobbs, Dean0000-0003-1175-3772
Hagan, Cindy C.0000-0002-4576-7120
Additional Information:© 2005 National Academy of Sciences. Freely available online through the PNAS open access option. Edited by Marcus E. Raichle, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, and approved September 13, 2005 (received for review November 13, 2004). We thank Drs. Michael D. Greicius and Amy S. Garrett for their helpful comments. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant MH01142 (to A.L.R.). Author contributions: D.M., V.M., and A.L.R. designed research; D.M. and E.A. performed research; V.M. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; D.M., C.C.H., and E.A. analyzed data; and D.M., C.C.H., and A.L.R. wrote the paper. No conflicts declared. This paper was submitted directly (Track II) to the PNAS office.
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Subject Keywords:laughter; emotion; extroversion; neuroticism; functional MRI
Issue or Number:45
PubMed Central ID:PMC1277964
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180305-165233076
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Official Citation:Personality predicts activity in reward and emotional regions associated with humor Dean Mobbs, Cindy C. Hagan, Eiman Azim, Vinod Menon, Allan L. Reiss Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Nov 2005, 102 (45) 16502-16506; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0408457102
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85115
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:06 Mar 2018 15:55
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:25

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