Individual differences in the Behavioral Inhibition System are associated with orbitofrontal cortex and precuneus gray matter volume

  • Fuentes P
  • Barrós-Loscertales A
  • Bustamante J
 et al. 
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The Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) is described in Gray's Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory as a hypothetical construct that mediates anxiety in animals and humans. The neuroanatomical correlates of this system are not fully clear, although they are known to involve the amygdala, the septohippocampal system, and the prefrontal cortex. Previous neuroimaging research has related individual differences in BIS with regional volume and functional variations in the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampal formation. The aim of the present work was to study BIS-related individual differences and their relationship with brain regional volume. BIS sensitivity was assessed through the BIS/BAS questionnaire in a sample of male participants (N = 114), and the scores were correlated with brain regional volume in a voxel-based morphometry analysis. The results show a negative correlation between the BIS and the volume of the right and medial orbitofrontal cortices and the precuneus. Our results and previous findings suggest that individual differences in anxiety-related personality traits and their related psychopathology may be associated with reduced brain volume in certain structures relating to emotional control (i.e., the orbitofrontal cortex) and self-consciousness (i.e., the precuneus), as shown by our results.

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  • Paola Fuentes

  • Alfonso Barrós-Loscertales

  • Juan Carlos Bustamante

  • Patricia Rosell

  • Víctor Costumero

  • César Ávila

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