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The variability associated with this second which did not control for personality, re-ported various outcomes (2– 4 ). Limited spatial resolution precludes determinationof whether these processes are differential-ly localized among the subnuclei of the amygdala or adjacent regions involved inprocessing facial expressions (4 ). Never- theless, the present results demonstrate that personality traits influence some, but not other, brain responses to emotionally sa-lient perceptions.
ful, and sad) expressions; (ii) neuroticism References and Notes
principles of brain-behavior relations by did not correlate significantly with activa- 1. M. Davis, P. J. Whalen, Mol. Psychiatry 6, 13 (2001).
tion to any expression; and (iii) this corre- 2. J. S. Morris et al., Nature 383, 812 (1996).
across, and individual differences among, lation was the largest of all possible corre- 3. H. C. Breiter et al., Neuron 17, 875 (1996).
individuals. Both approaches are relevant lations among the “big 5” major personality 4. P. J. Whalen et al., J. Neurosci. 18, 411 (1998).
5. L. A. Pervin, O. P. John, Eds., Handbook of Personality: for the study of the amygdala, a critical traits factors (extraversion, neuroticism, Theory and Research (Guilford Press, New York, ed. 2, structure for the processing of emotional Fig. 1. Amygdala response to emotional faces. (Left) Significant amygdala activation to fearful,
but not happy, faces (left: Ϫ23, Ϫ6, Ϫ18; right: ϩ24, Ϫ7, Ϫ17). (Middle) Extraversion
correlated with left amygdala activation (Ϫ22, Ϫ9, Ϫ20) to happy, but not fearful, faces.
(Right) Participants’ mean activations (in T scores) as a function of extraversion, from voxels
surviving small volume correction. For fearful-neutral, no voxels survived at P Ͻ 0.05 threshold, which was therefore reduced to P Ͻ 0.25. Black squares represent females, and black triangles sions varies with extraversion (7 ). Signifi- tiousness) and all four facial expressions.
8. R. J. Davidson, P. Ekman, C. D. Saron, J. A. Senulis, W. V.
Friesen, J. Personal Soc. Psychol. 58, 330 (1990).
9. P. T. Costa, R. R. McCrae, Neo Five-Factor Inventory the amygdaloid region. The first is engaged (NEO-FFI) Professional Manual (Psychological Assess- sions (Fig. 1, left). Amygdala activation for consistently across people in response to happy expressions correlated positively and fearful expressions and may reflect the im- 10. Supported by National Institute of Mental Health grant MH59259 to I.H.G. We thank M. Thoma- significantly with the degree of extraver- portance of detecting cues to potentially son, E. Benson, and A. Tso for assistance in data sion (Fig. 1, middle and right). The center dangerous situations. The second process is of the correlation cluster was located in the engaged variably across people, as a func- amygdala but extended into regions of the tion of extraversion, in response to happy uncus and hippocampus. The specificity of expressions. This activation was left-later- Department of Psychology, Stanford University, alized, i.e., located within the hemisphere associated with positive emotions and with *Present address: Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony was supported in three ways: (i) Extraver- approach-related behavior (8), and may sion did not correlate significantly with thus contribute to behavior consistent with †To whom correspondence should be addressed.
activation to other emotional (angry, fear- the sociable interactive style of extraverts. SCIENCE VOL 296 21 JUNE 2002


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