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Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 Nov 20;11:561. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00561. eCollection 2017.

The Neural Association between Tendency to Forgive and Spontaneous Brain Activity in Healthy Young Adults.

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Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China.


The tendency to forgive (TTF) refers to one's global dispositional level of forgiveness across situations and relationships. Previous brain imaging studies examined activation patterns underlying forgiving process, yet the association between individual differences in the TTF and spontaneous brain activity at resting-state remains unknown. In this study, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the correlation between the TTF and spontaneous brain activity in a young adult sample. Participants were 178 young students (55 men) who completed the TTF scale and underwent a resting-state fMRI scan. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to assess the association between the regional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) and TTF scores corrected for age and sex. Results showed that the ALFF value in the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), precuneus and inferior parietal lobule (IPL) were negatively associated with TTF scores. These findings suggest that the spontaneous brain activity of brain regions like the dmPFC, precuneus and IPL which are implicated in mentalizing and empathic response are associated with individual differences in the TTF.


ALFF; mPFC; mentalizing; resting-state fMRI; tendency to forgive

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