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Extraversion/Neurobiology: Depue’s model of Extraversion is the most thorough and promising to date, linking it to the brain systems that govern sensitivity to reward and related positive emotions (Depue and Collins 1999(1); Depue and Lenzenweger 2005(2); Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky 2005)(3). This model is largely congruent with Gray’s theory of the BAS, which has been increasingly linked to Extraversion (Smillie, Pickering and Jackson 2006)(4). The dopaminergic component of this reward circuitry may be particularly influential on the ‘agentic’ aspect of Extraversion associated with drive and assertiveness (Depue and Collins 1999)(1), whereas the affiliative aspect of Extraversion may be associated more strongly with the endogenous opioid systems involved in the positive emotions that follow attainment or consumption of reward and that are particularly important in social bonding (Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky 2005)(3).
Genetic studies have found associations between Extraversion and several genes involved in the dopaminergic system (Benjamin, Li, Patterson et al. 1996(5); Bookman, Taylor, Adams-Campbell and Kittles 2002(6); Eichhammer, Sand, Stoertebecker et al. 2005(7); Ozkaragoz and Noble 2000(8); Reuter and Hennig 2005(9); Reuter, Schmitz, Corr and Hennig 2005(10); Tochigi, Otowa, Hibino et al. 2006)(11), though these associations are not yet well established.
Some aspects of Eysenck’s theory that Extraversion is associated with cortical arousal may be compatible with the reward sensitivity model. Evidence for the cortical arousal theory is complicated by the fact that EEG and fMRI studies have found that the association between Extraversion and arousal is sometimes positive and sometimes negative (Matthews and Gilliland 1999(12); Zuckerman 2005(13)). These seemingly contradictory effects may be moderated by the type of situation in which arousal is measured and by the pattern of cortical arousal in question (Matthews and Gilliland 1999(12); Wacker, Chavanon and Stemmler 2006(14)). >Situations/Neurobiology, >Neuroticism/Neurobiology.
1. Depue, R. A. and Collins, P. F. 1999. Neurobiology of the structure of personality: dopamine, facilitation of incentive motivation, and extraversion, Behavioural and Brain Sciences 22: 491–569
2. Depue, R. A. and Lenzenweger, M. F. 2005. A neurobehavioural dimensional model of personality disturbance, in M Lenzenweger and J Clarkin (eds.), Theories of personality disorders, 2nd edn, pp. 391–454. New York: Guilford Press
3. Depue, R. A. and Morrone-Strupinsky, J. V. 2005. A neurobehavioural model of affiliative bonding: implications for conceptualizing a human trait of affiliation, Behavioural and Brain Sciences 28: 313–50
4. Smillie, L. D., Pickering, A. D. and Jackson, C. J. 2006. The new Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory: implications for personality measurement, Personality and Social Psychology Review 10: 320–35
5. Benjamin, J., Li, L., Patterson, C., Greenberg, B. D., Murphy, D. L. and Hamer, D. H. 1996. Population and familial association between the D4 dopamine receptor gene and measures of novelty seeking, Nature Genetics 12: 81–4
6. Bookman, E. B., Taylor, R. E., Adams-Campbell, L. and Kittles, R. A. 2002. DRD4 promoter SNPs and gender effects on Extraversion in African Americans, Molecular Psychiatry 7: 786–9
7. Eichhammer, P., Sand, P. G., Stoertebecker, P., Langguth, B., Zowe, M. and Hajak, G. 2005. Variation at the DRD4 promoter modulates extraversion in Caucasians, Molecular Psychiatry 10: 520–2
8. Ozkaragoz, T. and Noble, E. P. 2000. Extraversion: interaction between D2 dopamine receptor polymorphisms and parental alcoholism, Alcohol 22: 139–46
9. Reuter M. and Hennig, J. 2005. Association of the functional catechol-O-methyltransferase VAL158MET polymorphism with the personality trait of Extraversion, NeuroReport 16: 1135–8
10. Reuter, M., Schmitz, A., Corr, P. and Henning, J. 2005. Molecular genetics support Gray’s personality theory: the interaction of COMT and DRD2 polymorphisms predicts the behavioural approach system, International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 8: 1–12
11. Tochigi, M., Otowa, T., Hibino, H., Kato, C., Otani, T., Umekage, T., Utsumi, T., Kato, N. and Sasaki, T. 2006. Combined analysis of association between personality traits and three functional polymorphisms in the tyrosine hydroxylase, monoamine oxidase A, and catechol-O-methyltransferase genes, Neuroscience Research 54: 180–5
12. Matthews, G. and Gilliland, K. 1999. The personality theories of H. J. Eysenck and J. A. Gray: a comparative review, Personality and Individual Differences 26: 583–626
13. Zuckerman, M. 2005. Psychobiology of personality, 2nd edn rev. and updated. New York: Cambridge University Press
14. Wacker, J., Chavanon, M.-L. and Stemmler, G. 2006. Investigating the dopaminergic basis of Extraversion in humans: a multilevel approach, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 91: 71–87
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