White Matter Correlates of Psychosis-Linked Traits Support Continuity Between Personality and Psychopathology
Rachael Grazioplene, Robert Chavez, Aldo Rustichini, and Colin DeYoung
The link between diagnoses of psychotic disorders and attenuated white matter connectivity is well established, but little is known about the degree to which similar white matter differences predict traits linked to psychosis-proneness in the general population. Moreover, intelligence is too rarely considered as a covariate in neural endophenotype studies, despite its known protective role against psychopathology in general and its associations with broad aspects of neural structure and function. To determine whether psychosis-linked personality traits are linearly associated with white matter microstructure, we examined white matter correlates of Psychoticism, Absorption, and Openness to Experience in a large community sample, covarying for sex, age, and IQ. Findings support our hypothesis that the white matter correlates of the shared variance of these traits overlap substantially with the frontal lobe white matter connectivity patterns characteristic of psychotic spectrum disorders. These findings provide biological support for the notion that liability to psychosis is distributed throughout the population, is evident in brain structure, and manifests as normal personality variation at subclinical levels.