Personality and Emotional Brain Function

Proposal details

Title: Personality and Emotional Brain Function
Research Area(s): Emotion and Self Regulation
Background: Few studies have investigated how personality modulates the neural correlates of emotion processing. Existing studies have used very small sample sized (generally < 10 subjects) and have looked at fMRI, resting EEG and EEG to emotion faces. This study uses a large sample size (approximately 140 subjects). It will be the first study to use emotion processing ERPs (rather than static EEG measures) and the first study to investigate the modulating effects of all five factors of the five factor model of personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness).
Aims: Hypotheses 1. Higher scores on Extraversion or Openness or both will be associated with an earlier, larger temporal N170 for all emotional faces, while other personality factors will have no significant effect. 2. For happy faces, higher Extraversion scores will be associated with an earlier, larger frontal N250, but other personality factors will have no significant effect. 3. For fearful faces, higher Neuroticism scores will be associated with an earlier, larger frontal N250, but other personality factors will have no significant effect.
Method: The study looks at data from approximately 140 normal, healthy controls, comprising 30 new acquisitions and 110 subjects previously acquired for the Brainnet database. Emotion processing was tested using the happy, neutral and fearful faces of the Conscious faces emotion processing paradigm. Personality was tested using the NEO-FFI, a 60-item shortened self-report version of the NEO PI-R.