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Durham Research Online
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Nonlinear associations between human values and neuroanatomy.

Zacharopoulus, G. and Hanel, P. H. P. and Lancaster, T. M. and Ihssen, N. and Drakesmith, M. and Foley, S. and Maio, G. R. and Linden, D. E. J. (2017) 'Nonlinear associations between human values and neuroanatomy.', Social neuroscience., 12 (6). pp. 673-684.


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.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Social Neuroscience on 21/09/2016, available online at:
Date accepted:16 September 2016
Date deposited:28 November 2016
Date of first online publication:21 September 2016
Date first made open access:21 September 2017

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