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A Hedonism Hub in the Human Brain

George Zacharopoulos, T. M. Lancaster, T. Bracht, N. Ihssen, G. R. Maio, D. E. J. Linden

Cerebral Cortex, Volume: 26, Issue: 10, Pages: 3921 - 3927

Swansea University Author: George Zacharopoulos

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DOI (Published version): 10.1093/cercor/bhw197

Abstract

Human values are abstract ideals that motivate behavior. The motivational nature of human values raises the possibility that they might be underpinned by brain structures that are particularly involved in motivated behavior and reward processing. We hypothesized that variation in subcortical hubs of...

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Published in: Cerebral Cortex
ISSN: 1047-3211 1460-2199
Published: Oxford University Press (OUP) 2016
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58965
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Abstract: Human values are abstract ideals that motivate behavior. The motivational nature of human values raises the possibility that they might be underpinned by brain structures that are particularly involved in motivated behavior and reward processing. We hypothesized that variation in subcortical hubs of the reward system and their main connecting pathway, the superolateral medial forebrain bundle (slMFB) is associated with individual value orientation. We conducted Pearson's correlation between the scores of 10 human values and the volumes of 14 subcortical structures and microstructural properties of the medial forebrain bundle in a sample of 87 participants, correcting for multiple comparisons (i.e.,190). We found a positive association between the value that people attach to hedonism and the volume of the left globus pallidus (GP).We then tested whether microstructural parameters (i.e., fractional anisotropy and myelin volume fraction) of the slMFB, which connects with the GP, are also associated to hedonism and found a significant, albeit in an uncorrected level, positive association between the myelin volume fraction within the left slMFB and hedonism scores. This is the first study to elucidate the relationship between the importance people attach to the human value of hedonism and structural variation in reward-related subcortical brain regions.
Keywords: globus pallidus, hedonism, human values, medial forebrain bundle
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Funders: National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) at Cardiff University, with funds from the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR), Welsh Government, Wales (Grant no. BR09), and by Grant MR/K004360/1 from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and by the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (G0800509)
Issue: 10
Start Page: 3921
End Page: 3927