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Hum Brain Mapp. 2018 Apr;39(4):1664-1672. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23942. Epub 2018 Jan 4.

Motivation but not valence modulates neuroticism-dependent cingulate cortex and insula activity.

Deng Y1,2,3, Li S4,5,6,7,8, Zhou R1,2,3,9, Walter M6,7,8,10.

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Department of Psychology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China.
National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, School of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China.
Research Center of Emotion Regulation, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China.
School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.
Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, Shanghai, China.
Clinical Affective Neuroimaging Laboratory, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.
Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany.
Department of Neurology, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.
Center for Collaboration and Innovation in Brain and Learning Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany†.


Neuroticism has been found to specifically modulate amygdala activations during differential processing of valence and motivation while other brain networks yet are unexplored for associated effects. The main purpose of this study was to investigate whether neural mechanisms processing valence or motivation are prone to neuroticism in the salience network (SN), a network that is anchored in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the anterior insula. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and an approach/avoid emotional pictures task to investigate brain activations modulated by pictures' valence or motivational status between high and low neurotic individuals. We found that neuroticism-dependent SN and the parahippocampal-fusiform area activations were modulated by motivation but not valence. Valence in contrast interacted with neuroticism in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. We suggested that neuroticism modulated valence and motivation processing, however, under the influence of the two distinct networks. Neuroticism modulated the motivation through the SN while it modulated the valence through the orbitofrontal networks.


motivation; neuroticism; salience network; valence

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