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Durham University



Publication details for Dr Niklas Ihssen

Zacharopoulus, G., Hanel, P. H. P., Lancaster, T. M., Ihssen, N., Drakesmith, M., Foley, S., Maio, G. R. & Linden, D. E. J. (2017). Nonlinear associations between human values and neuroanatomy. Social Neuroscience 12(6): 673-684.

Author(s) from Durham


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 of diverse human value types (e.g., achievement, benevolence) and any variables psychologically relevant 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 relationship 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 novel cross-validation of Schwartz’s model. Moreover, the sinusoidal waveform test can be applied to other circumplex models in social, affective and cognitive neuroscience.

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