Using personality neuroscience to study personality disorder

Samantha V. Abram, Colin G. DeYoung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Personality neuroscience integrates techniques from personality psychology and neuroscience to elucidate the neural basis of individual differences in cognition, emotion, motivation, and behavior. This endeavor is pertinent not only to our understanding of healthy personality variation, but also to the aberrant trait manifestations present in personality disorders and severe psychopathology. In the current review, we focus on the advances and limitations of neuroimaging methods with respect to personality neuroscience. We discuss the value of personality theory as a means to link specific neural mechanisms with various traits (e.g., the neural basis of the "Big Five"). Given the overlap between dimensional models of normal personality and psychopathology, we also describe how researchers can reconceptualize psychopathological disorders along key dimensions, and, in turn, formulate specific neural hypotheses, extended from personality theory. Examples from the borderline personality disorder literature are used to illustrate this approach. We provide recommendations for utilizing neuroimaging methods to capture the neural mechanisms that underlie continuous traits across the spectrum from healthy to maladaptive. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-13
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality disorders
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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