Psychoticism and salience network morphology


The concept of salience is increasingly recognised to be fundamental to understand the neural basis of information processing. A large-scale brain network called the salience network, anchored in the anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortex, performs a key function in information processing by enabling 'switching' between brain states. Abnormalities in this function, recently termed as 'proximal salience', has been proposed to be a core feature in the development of psychotic symptoms. At present, it is unknown if abnormalities in the network are associated with normal variations in personality traits such as psychoticism that could predispose to psychotic experiences in otherwise healthy subjects. The aim of the paper is to examine the relationship between psychoticism and salience network morphology in a group of non-clinical male subjects. Greater psychoticism was associated with smaller salience network surface area. The findings reinforce a continuum model with psychosis-proneness and psychosis being on the same neurobiological axis. A focussed investigation of factors determining the inter-individual variations in regional surface area in the adult brain could provide further clarity in our understanding of various determinants of enduring patterns of human behaviour. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.