Neurobiology on Neuroticism - Dictionary of Arguments
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Neuroticism/Neurobiology: Because Neuroticism and sensitivity to threat are so strongly implicated in psychopathology, research on their likely biological substrates has been extensive. Gray and McNaughton’s (2000)(1) model of the BIS (behavioural inhibition system, >Gray) and FFFS (fight-flight-freeze system, >Gray), which jointly determine Neuroticism, is very thoroughly elaborated. This model is reasonably compatible compatible with Depue’s model of Anxiety and Fear, although Depue believes that Fear is not well represented within Neuroticism.
Gray and McNaughton associated the FFFS not only with fear but also with panic and anger, and these emotions are also associated with Neuroticism (Costa and McCrae 1992(2); DeYoung, Quilty and Peterson 2007(3); Saucier and Goldberg 2001(4)).
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Hemispheres: a number of EEG studies have demonstrated that Neuroticism (including various trait measures of negative emotionality) is associated with greater activation of the right frontal lobe relative to the left (Davidson 2002(5); Zuckerman 2005)(6). Davidson (2002)(6) has argued that the right hemisphere is preferentially involved in emotions and motivational states associated with withdrawal, whereas the left hemisphere is preferentially involved in approach. The one complication in linking the right hemisphere to Neuroticism is that anger is associated with approach motivation, and EEG studies have shown anger to be associated with greater relative left frontal lobe activation (Harmon-Jones 2004(7); Harmon-Jones and Allen 1998(8)).
1. Gray, J. A. and McNaughton, N. 2000. The neuropsychology of anxiety: an enquiry into the functions of the septo-hippocampal system, 2nd edn. New York: Oxford University Press
2. Costa, P. T., Jr. and McCrae, R. R. 1992. Four ways five factors are basic, Personality and Individual Differences 13: 653–65
3. DeYoung, C. G., Quilty, L. C. and Peterson, J. B. 2007. Between facets and domains: ten aspects of the Big Five, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 93: 880–96
4. Saucier, G. and Goldberg, L. R. 2001. Lexical studies of indigenous personality factors: premises, products, and prospects, Journal of Personality 69: 847–79
5. Davidson, R. J. 2002. Anxiety and affective style: role of prefrontal cortex and amygdala, Biological Psychiatry 51: 68–80
6. Zuckerman, M. 2005. Psychobiology of personality, 2nd edn rev. and updated. New York: Cambridge University Press
7. Harmon-Jones, E. 2004. Contributions from research on anger and cognitive dissonance to understanding the motivational functions of asymmetrical frontal brain activity, Biological Psychology 67: 51–76
8. Harmon-Jones, E. and Allen, J. J. B. 1998. Anger and frontal brain activity: EEG asymmetry consistent with approach motivation despite negative affective valence, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74: 1310–16
Colin G. DeYoung and Jeremy R. Gray, „ Personality neuroscience: explaining individual differences in affect, behaviour and cognition“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Philip J. Corr
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018