Biopsychology History of Psychology

Episode 127 (video): Phrenology: Maybe They Were On To Something

Everyone can picture one of those phrenology heads with personality traits drawn into different sections of the cranium (you’ll find a bunch of them on this phrenology site). Was there anything to that? Well, not exactly. However, with the use of MRI scans researchers today may have located about where certain personality traits lie in your brain. Travel with me into a 3D brain and let’s find out where your personality may lie.

The Big Five Personality Traits

One of the most popular theories of personality is the so-called Big Five personality traits. Here is a list of those traits along with what we know as to where they may reside in your brain.

  • Openness – dorsolateral PFC, anterior PFC, anterior parietal cortex (research was inconclusive on this personality factor)
  • Conscientiousness – Lateral Profrontal Cortex
  • Extraversion – Orbitofrontal Cortex, Nucleus Accumbens, Amygdala
  • Agreeableness – superior temporal sulcus, posterior cingulate cortex
  • Neuroticism – Medial prefrontal cortex, Amygdala, Hippocampus




About Author

1 Comment

  1. Avatar


    July 3, 2010

    This was a mouthfull podcast, I lost track many times. Podcasts about music and brain games can fit nicely into 20 mins, maybe when teaching about personality it would be good to break down with case studies, etc., and make multiple podcasts on a subject as big as this.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

Biopsychology Teaching Tools

Episode 22: The Brains Behind Erikson Part 1 – Timeliner

I decided that it was time to look at the biology behind the changes that occur in our lives as
Biopsychology Development

Episode 24: The Brains Behind Erikson Part 2

What is happening in your brain as you progress through life? In this episode we take a look at some