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      Exploring the role of testosterone in the cerebellum link to neuroticism: From adolescence to early adulthood.

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          Abstract

          Previous research has found an association between a smaller cerebellar volume and higher levels of neuroticism. The steroid hormone testosterone reduces stress responses and the susceptibility to negative mood. Together with in vitro studies showing a positive effect of testosterone on cerebellar gray matter volumes, we set out to explore the role of testosterone in the relation between cerebellar gray matter and neuroticism. Structural magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired, and indices of neurotic personality traits were assessed by administering the depression and anxiety scale of the revised NEO personality inventory and Gray's behavioural avoidance in one hundred and forty-nine healthy volunteers between 12 and 27 years of age. Results demonstrated an inverse relation between total brain corrected cerebellar volumes and neurotic personality traits in adolescents and young adults. In males, higher endogenous testosterone levels were associated with lower scores on neurotic personality traits and larger cerebellar gray matter volumes. No such relations were observed in the female participants. Analyses showed that testosterone significantly mediated the relation between male cerebellar gray matter and measures of neuroticism. Our findings on the interrelations between endogenous testosterone, neuroticism and cerebellar morphology provide a cerebellum-oriented framework for the susceptibility to experience negative emotions and mood in adolescence and early adulthood.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Psychoneuroendocrinology
          Psychoneuroendocrinology
          Elsevier BV
          1873-3360
          0306-4530
          Apr 2017
          : 78
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Montessorilaan 3, 6525 HR Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: d.schutter@donders.ru.nl.
          [2 ] Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands; Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, The Netherlands.
          Article
          S0306-4530(16)30688-6
          10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.01.009
          28214680
          2d782283-7e87-4b99-8ba9-b646a0b7f48d
          History

          Testosterone,Neuroticism,Behavioural inhibition,Cerebellum,Gray matter

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