Neural correlates of impulsivity factors in psychiatric patients and healthy volunteers: a voxel-based morphometry study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry, Center for Mental Health Services Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Brain; Cerebellum; Cerebral Cortex; Data Interpretation, Statistical; Female; Functional Laterality; Humans; Image Processing, Computer-Assisted; Impulsive Behavior; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Prefrontal Cortex


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


According to bottom-up/top-down models, impulsivity facets are represented across the cerebral cortex and subcortex. Hypothesized gray matter correlates of motor, attentional and non-planning impulsivity were examined in groups of 35 psychiatric patients characterized by self-control problems and 18 healthy volunteers. Among patients, a positive correlation was found between motor impulsivity and the right cerebellum, and a negative correlation emerged between attentional impulsivity and the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Among controls, attentional and motor impulsivity correlated negatively with the left superior temporal gyrus, while non-planning impulsivity correlated positively with the left OFC and lateral frontopolar cortex. Follow-up analyses revealed convergence in correlation patterns from patients to controls, but not vice versa. That pattern suggested broader neural representation of the trait in the healthy controls, who were less impulsive than the psychiatric patients.

DOI of Published Version



Brain Imaging Behav. 2011 Mar;5(1):52-64. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Brain Imaging and Behavior

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID