Nonlinear associations between human values and neuroanatomy

George Zacharopoulos, Paul H. P. Hanel, Thomas M. Lancaster, Niklas Ihssen, Mark Drakesmith, Sonya Foley, Gregory R. Maio, David E. J. Linden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


Human values guide behavior and the smooth functioning of societies. Schwartz’s circumplex model of values predicts a sinusoidal waveform in relations between ratings of the importance ofdiverse human value types (e.g., achievement, benevolence) and any variables psychologicallyrelevant to them. In this neuroimaging study, we examined these nonlinear associations between values types and brain structure. In 85 participants, we found the predicted sinusoidal relation-ship between ratings of values types and two measures of white matter (WM), volume and myelin volume fraction, as well as for grey matter (GM) parameters in several frontal regions. These effects reveal new functional associations for structural brain parameters and provide a novelcross-validation of Schwartz’s model. Moreover, the sinusoidal waveform test can be applied to other circumplex models in social, affective and cognitive neuroscience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-684
JournalSocial Neuroscience
Issue number6
Early online date20 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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