Brain microstructural properties related to subjective well-being: diffusion tensor imaging analysis

Chiaki Terao Maeda, Hikaru Takeuchi, Rui Nouchi, Ryoichi Yokoyama, Yuka Kotozaki, Seishu Nakagawa, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Kunio Iizuka, Sugiko Hanawa, Tsuyoshi Araki, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Kohei Sakaki, Takayuki Nozawa, Shigeyuki Ikeda, Susumu Yokota, Daniele Magistro, Yuko Sassa, Yasuyuki Taki, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Although it is known that health is not merely the absence of disease, the positive aspects of mental health have been less comprehensively researched compared with its negative aspects. Subjective well-being (SWB) is one of the indicators of positive psychology, and high SWB is considered to benefit individuals in multiple ways. However, the neural mechanisms underlying individual differences in SWB remain unclear, particularly in terms of brain microstructural properties as detected by diffusion tensor imaging. The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between measurements of diffusion tensor imaging [mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy] and the degree of SWB as measured using a questionnaire. Voxel-based analysis was used to investigate the association between MD and SWB scores in healthy young adults (age, 20.7 ± 1.8 years; 695 males and 514 females). Higher levels of SWB were found to be associated with lower MD in areas surrounding the right putamen, insula, globus pallidus, thalamus and caudate. These results indicated that individual SWB is associated with variability in brain microstructural properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1090
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes


  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • dopaminergic system
  • mean diffusivity
  • motivation
  • subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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