Dissecting the midlife crisis: disentangling social, personality and demographic determinants in social brain anatomy

Hannah Kiesow, Lucina Q. Uddin, Boris C. Bernhardt, Joseph Kable, Danilo Bzdok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In any stage of life, humans crave connection with other people. In midlife, transitions in social networks can relate to new leadership roles at work or becoming a caregiver for aging parents. Previous neuroimaging studies have pinpointed the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to undergo structural remodelling during midlife. Social behavior, personality predisposition, and demographic profile all have intimate links to the mPFC according in largely disconnected literatures. Here, we explicitly estimated their unique associations with brain structure using a fully Bayesian framework. We weighed against each other a rich collection of 40 UK Biobank traits with their interindividual variation in social brain morphology in ~10,000 middle-aged participants. Household size and daily routines showed several of the largest effects in explaining variation in social brain regions. We also revealed male-biased effects in the dorsal mPFC and amygdala for job income, and a female-biased effect in the ventral mPFC for health satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number728
JournalCommunications Biology
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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