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Psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis have found an intriguing possibility that personality and brain aging during the golden years may be linked.
Studying MRI images of 79 volunteers between the ages of 44 and 88 — who also had provided personality and demographic data — the researchers found lower volumes of gray matter in the frontal and medial temporal brain regions of volunteers who ranked high in neuroticism traits, compared with higher volumes of gray matter in those who ranked high in conscientious traits
Denise Head, PhD, assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University. “Our data clearly show an association between personality and brain volume, particularly in brain regions associated with emotional and social processing. This could be interpreted that personality may influence the rate of brain aging.”