bioRxiv. 2024 Jan 15:2024.01.14.574481. doi: 10.1101/2024.01.14.574481. Preprint.
BACKGROUND: Emotion-related impulsivity (ERI) describes the trait-like tendency toward poor self-control when experiencing strong emotions. ERI has been shown to be elevated across psychiatric disorders and predictive of the onset and worsening of psychiatric syndromes. Recent work has correlated ERI scores with the neuroanatomy of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Informed by a growing body of research indicating that the morphology of cortical folds (sulci) can produce insights into behavioral outcomes, the present study modeled the association between ERI and the sulcal morphology of OFC at a finer scale than previously conducted.
METHODS: Analyses were conducted in a transdiagnostic sample of 118 individuals with a broad range of psychiatric syndromes. We first manually defined over 2000 sulci across the 118 participants. We then implemented a model-based LASSO regression to relate OFC sulcal morphology to ERI and test whether effects were specific to ERI as compared to non-emotion-related impulsivity.
RESULTS: The LASSO regression revealed bilateral associations of ERI with the depth of eight OFC sulci. These effects were specific to ERI and were not observed in non-emotion-related impulsivity. In addition, we identified a new transverse component of the olfactory sulcus in every hemisphere that is dissociable from the longitudinal component based on anatomical features and correlation with behavior, which could serve as a new transdiagnostic biomarker.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this data-driven investigation provide greater neuroanatomical and neurodevelopmental specificity on how OFC is related to ERI. As such, findings link neuroanatomical characteristics to a trait that is highly predictive of psychopathology.