A voxel-based morphometry study of gray and white matter correlates of a need for uniqueness

Hikaru Takeuchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Rui Nouchi, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Yuka Kotozaki, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Ryoichi Yokoyama, Kunio Iizuka, Hiroshi Hashizume, Seishu Nakagawa, Keiko Kunitoki, Yuko Sassa, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


People appear to derive intrinsic satisfaction from the perception that they are unique, special, and separable from the masses, which is referred to as a need for uniqueness (NFU). NFU is a universal human trait, along with a tendency to conform to the beliefs and attitudes of others and social norms. We used voxel-based morphometry and a questionnaire to determine individual NFU and its association with brain structures in healthy men (94) and women (91; age, 21.3 ± 1.9. years). Individual NFU was associated with smaller gray matter volume of a cluster that included areas in (a) the left middle temporal gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, and left superior temporal sulcus (STS); (b) the dorsal part of the anterior cingulate gyrus and the anterior part of the middle cingulate gyrus; and (c) the right inferior frontal gyrus and the ventral part of the precentral gyrus. Individual NFU was also associated with larger white matter concentration of a cluster that mainly included the body of the corpus callosum. These findings demonstrated that variations in NFU reflect the gray and white matter structures of focal regions. These findings suggest a biological basis for individual NFU, distributed across different gray and white matter areas of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1126
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Corpus callosum
  • Gray matter
  • Need for uniqueness
  • Voxel-based morphometry
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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