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The Self-Liking Brain : a VBM Study on the Structural Substrate of Self-Esteem
AuthorAgroskin, Dmitrij ; Klackl, Johannes ; Jonas, Eva
Published in
PLoS ONE, Lawrence, Kan., 2014, Vol. 9, page 1-8
PublishedPublic Library of Science, 2014
Document typeJournal Article
Keywords (EN)Central nervous system / Emotions / Hippocampus / Psychological stress / Hypothalamus / Depression / Magnetic resonance imaging / Prefrontal cortex
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:3-3213 Persistent Identifier (URN)
 The work is publicly available
The Self-Liking Brain [0.24 mb]
Abstract (English)

Abundant evidence suggests that self-esteem is an important personality resource for emotion regulation in response to stressful experiences. It was thus hypothesized that the relative grey matter volume of brain regions involved in responding to and coping with stress is related to individual differences in trait self-esteem. Using structural magnetic resonance imaging of 48 healthy adults in conjunction with voxel-based morphometry and diffeomorphic anatomical registration using exponentiated lie algebra (VBM-DARTEL), positive associations between self-esteem and regional grey matter volume were indeed found in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), right lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), right hippocampus, and left hypothalamus. In addition, self-esteem positively covaried with grey matter volume in the right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), which has been implicated in pride and theory of mind. The results suggest that persons with low self-esteem have reduced grey matter volume in brain regions that contribute to emotion/stress regulation, pride, and theory of mind. The findings provide novel neuroanatomical evidence for the view that self-esteem constitutes a vital coping resource.

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