Journal Mobile Options
Table of Contents
Vol. 17, No. 4, 2004
Issue release date: June 2004
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2004;17:328–332

Right and Left Medial Orbitofrontal Volumes Show an Opposite Relationship to Agreeableness in FTD

Rankin K.P. · Rosen H.J. · Kramer J.H. · Schauer G.F. · Weiner M.W. · Schuff N. · Miller B.L.
aUniversity of California San Francisco, bSan Francisco VA Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Unit, SanFrancisco,Calif.,USA

Individual Users: Register with Karger Login Information

Please create your User ID & Password

Contact Information

I have read the Karger Terms and Conditions and agree.

To view the fulltext, please log in

To view the pdf, please log in


Recent investigations of the neuroanatomy of complex social behaviors suggest that the underlying brain circuits involve multiple cortical and subcortical structures. The neuroanatomic origins of agreeableness have not yet been clearly elucidated. However, frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients can evidence dramatic alterations in agreeableness arising from frontal and temporal lobe damage. Based on previous research, we hypothesized that agreeableness would be negatively correlated with left medial orbitofrontal cortex size and positively correlated with right amygdala volume. First-degree relatives of 27 FTD patients (diagnosed according to the Lund-Manchester criteria) were asked to fill out the NEO-Five Factor Inventory to assess the patients’ current level of agreeableness, a construct comprised of the facets trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty, and tender-mindedness. These patients underwent T1-weighted MRI imaging, and gray matter volumes for right and left orbitofrontal lobes and amygdalas were derived via segmentation and region of interest tracing, normalizing for total intracranial volume. Regression analysis revealed that 38% of the variance in the NEO agreeableness score was predicted by a model in which right orbitofrontal volume (β = 0.731) was positively correlated with agreeableness, and left orbitofrontal lobe volume (β = –0.638) was negatively correlated with agreeableness (p < 0.01). Contrary to our hypothesis, amygdala volume did not significantly predict agreeableness. This finding partly replicates a previous study that used a different measure of social functioning, the Interpersonal Adjective Scale, to delineate a left frontal-right amygdala circuit for agreeableness. These data support the hypothesis that regulation of agreeableness arises from a balanced, mutually inhibitory circuit involving both hemispheres.

Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.


  1. Miller BL, Chang L, Mena I, Boone K, Lesser IM: Progressive right frontotemporal degeneration: Clinical, neuropsychological and SPECT characteristics. Dementia 1993;4:204–213.
  2. Bozeat S, Gregory CA, Ralph MA, Hodges JR: Which neuropsychiatric and behavioural features distinguish frontal and temporal variants of frontotemporal dementia from Alzheimer’s disease? J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2000;69:178–186.
  3. Rankin KP, Kramer JH, Mychack P, Miller BL: Double dissociation of social functioning in frontotemporal dementia. Neurology 2003;60:266–271.
  4. Perry RJ, Rosen HR, Kramer JH, Beer JS, Levenson RL, Miller BL: Hemispheric dominance for emotions, empathy and social behaviour: Evidence from right and left handers with frontotemporal dementia. Neurocase 2001;7:145–160.
  5. Rankin KP, Gorno-Tempini ML, Weiner MW, Miller BL: Neuroanatomy of impaired empathy in frontotemporal dementia. 55th Annu Meet Am Acad Neurol, Honolulu, 2003.
  6. Wiggins JS: Interpersonal Adjectives Scale: Professional Manual. Odessa, Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc, 1995.
  7. Rankin KP, Rosen HJ, Kramer J, Miller B: Neuroanatomical substrates of personality change in frontotemporal dementia. Annu Meet Cogn Neurosci Soc, San Francisco, 2002.
  8. Costa PTJ, McCrae RR: The NEO Personality Inventory Manual. Odessa, Psychological Assessment Resources, 1985.
  9. Brun A, Englund B, Gustafson L, Passant U, Mann DMA, Neary D, et al: Clinical and neuropathological criteria for frontotemporal dementia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1994;57:416–418.
  10. Neary D, Snowden JS, Gustafson L, Passant U, Stuss D, Black S, et al: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration: A consensus on clinical diagnostic criteria. Neurology 1998;51:1546–1554.
  11. Costa PT, McCrae RR: Normal personality assessment in clinical practice: The NEO Personality Inventory. Psychol Assess 1992;4:13–55.
  12. Schroeder ML, Wormworth JA, Livesley WJ: Dimensions of personality disorder and their relationships to the Big Five Dimensions of personality. Psychol Assess 1992;4:47–53.

    External Resources

  13. Ben-Porath YS, Waller NG: ‘Normal’ personality inventories in clinical assessment: General requirements and the potential for using the NEO personality inventory. Psychological Assessment 1992;4:14–19.

    External Resources

  14. Watson C, Andermann F, Gloor P, Jones-Gotman M, Peters T, Evans A, et al: Anatomic basis of amygdaloid and hippocampal volume measurement by magnetic resonance imaging. Neurology 1992;42:1743–1750.
  15. Tranel D, Bechara A, Denburg NL: Asymmetric functional roles of right and left ventromedial prefrontal cortices in social conduct, decision-making, and emotional processing. Cortex 2002;38:589–612.
  16. Stuss DT, Gow CA, Hetherington CR: ‘No longer Gage’: Frontal lobe dysfunction and emotional changes. J Consult Clin Psychol 1992;60:349–359.
  17. Blair RJR, Cipolotti L: Impaired social response reversal: A case of ‘acquired sociopathy’. Brain 2000;123:1122–1141.

    External Resources

  18. Bar-On R, Tranel D, Denberg NL, Bechara A: Exploring the neurological substrate of emotional and social intelligence. Brain 2003;126:1790–1800.
  19. Baron-Cohen S, Ring HA, Moriarty J, Schmitz B, Costa D, Ell P: The brain basis of theory of mind: The role of the orbito-frontal region. Br J Psychiatry 1994;165:640–649.
  20. Fletcher PC, Happe F, Frith U, Baker SC, Dolan RJ, Frackowiak RS, et al: Other minds in the brain: A functional imaging study of ‘theory of mind’ in story comprehension. Neuropsychologia 1995;11:141–157.

    External Resources

  21. Castelli F, Happe F, Frith U, Frith CD: Movement and mind: A functional imaging study of perception and interpretation of complex intentional movement patterns. Neuroimage 2000;12:314–325.
  22. Gallagher HL, Happe F, Brunswick N, Fletcher PC, Frith U, Frith CD: Reading the mind in cartoons and stories: An fMRI study of ‘theory of mind’ in verbal and nonverbal tasks. Neuropsychologia 2000;38:11–21.
  23. Iidaka T, Omori M, Murata T, Kosaka H, Yonekura Y, Okada T, et al: Neural interaction of the amygdala with the prefrontal and temporal cortices in the processing of facial expressions as revealed by fMRI. J Cogn Neurosci 2001;13:1035–1047.
  24. Berthoz S, Armony JL, Blair RJR, Dolan RJ: An fMRI study of intentional and unintentional (embarrassing) violations of social norms. Brain 2002;125:1696–1708.
  25. Miller BL, Cummings JL, Villanueva-Meyer J, Boone K, Mehringer CM, Lesser IM, et al: Frontal lobe degeneration: Clinical, neuropsychological, and SPECT characteristics. Neurology 1991;41:1374–1382.
  26. Edwards-Lee T, Miller BL, Benson DF, Cummings JL, Russell GL, Boone K, et al: The temporal variant of frontotemporal dementia. Brain 1997;120:1027–1040.

    External Resources

  27. Rosen HJ, Gorno-Tempini ML, Goldman WP, Perry RJ, Schuff N, Weiner M, et al: Patterns of brain atrophy in frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia. Neurology 2002;58:198–208.
  28. Moll J, Oliveira-Souza R, Bramati IE, Grafman J: Functional networks in emotional moral and nonmoral social judgments. Neuroimage 2002;16:696–703.

Pay-per-View Options
Direct payment This item at the regular price: USD 38.00
Payment from account With a Karger Pay-per-View account (down payment USD 150) you profit from a special rate for this and other single items.
This item at the discounted price: USD 26.50