Resting-state functional connectivity between ventral anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex predicts individual differences in self-esteem
Monday, Oct 15, 2012, 9:00 AM -10:00 AM
*J. F. HUCKINS
, T. F. HEATHERTON, S. N. JACOBS, C. A. GREENBAUM, C. P. MEEHAN, W. M. KELLEY;
Psychology and Brain Sci., Dartmouth Col., Hanover, NH
Self-esteem is a multidimensional psychological construct that reflects an individual’s self-worth and is strongly correlated with affect. Prior work (Moran et al., 2006) has shown a dissociation in midline frontal regions between the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and an adjacent region of the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC); whereas MPFC responded preferentially to material that was self-relevant, regardless of valence, vACC responded preferentially to valence information (positive > negative), but only when this material was judged to be personally relevant. Consistent with this finding, activity in the vACC is sensitive to social feedback from peers (social acceptance > rejection; Somerville et al., 2006), and is a primary target of deep brain stimulation in severely depressed individuals (Mayberg et al., 2005). Collectively, these findings suggest that distinct regions of adjacent prefrontal cortex subserve cognitive and emotional aspects of self-reflection, the interaction of which may give rise to individual differences in personality constructs such as self-esteem. To test this possibility, 95 participants completed a commonly used trait self-esteem survey (Flemming & Courtney, 1984) and were scanned in a resting-state functional connectivity paradigm that consisted of two 5-minute runs while fixating a crosshair without explicit task demands. Imaging data was preprocessed using a standard processing stream tailored for resting-state functional connectivity analyses (Power et al., 2011). The vACC was then used as a seed region for functional connectivity analyses, and whole brain voxel-wise regression against self-esteem scores was performed across subjects. Results revealed that self-esteem scores were predicted by resting-state connectivity between vACC and regions of the MPFC commonly identified in self-referencing paradigms. Specifically, individuals with high self-esteem showed increased functional coupling between these regions. Strong functional coupling between the vACC and MPFC in high self-esteem individuals may indicate that positively-valenced material may be more easily integrated into representations of self in these individuals.
MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX
NIH Grant MH59282
[Authors]. [Abstract Title]. Program No. XXX.XX. 2012 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. New Orleans, LA: Society for Neuroscience, 2012. Online.
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