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Brain Structure Roundup

July 16, 2010

The size of different brain structures is related to how neurotic, outgoing or friendly we are.

Transcript

Is personality all in your head? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

The size of specific areas of the brain affect our personality, according to University of Minnesota researchers. For example, they found that extraverted, outgoing people have a larger medial orbitofrontal cortex. They also found brain structures whose size related to agreeableness, conscientiousness and neurotocism. But they can’t say yet whether the brain structures create the personality traits or if the personality traits affect the brain structures.

In other psychology news, researchers report in the journal Science that our sense of touch can have a profound effect on how we make decisions and form opinions. For example, people who handled rough objects and then witnessed two people interacting were more likely to think the people were hostile; people who had handled smooth objects thought the people were friendly. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.