Poster A29, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Self-esteem and the brain: structural correlates in the prefrontal cortex
Igor Nenadic1,2, Katharina Frisch1, Bianca Besteher1, Robert Spalthoff1, Christian Gaser1,3; 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany, 2Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Philipps University Marburg and Marburg University Hospital (UKGM), Marburg, Germany, 3Department of Neurology, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany
Self-esteem has been shown to modulate functional activation and functional connectivity in fronto-limbic circuits relevant to the emotional and cognitive processing of salient information. We addressed the hypothesis that self-esteem is associated with variation in brain structure as well by analyzing high-resolution MRI scans (3T, 1mm slice thickness) in n=78 young adult healthy subjects (25 male, 53 female; mean age 24.6yrs, range 19.6-38.7yrs; all without psychiatric or CNS conditions). Individual scores from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) were correlated positively with cortical thickness across the entire neocortex (using the CAT12 toolbox algorithms). There was a significant correlation (p<0.05 FWE-corrected) in the left posterior middle prefrontal gyrus cluster (k=463). Our findings suggest a putative structural correlate of subjective self-esteem in young healthy adults, which might serve as a link for integrating concepts of self-awareness and emotional regulation, with a broad range of clinical conditions affecting self-esteem evaluation.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Self perception