White matter structures associated with loneliness in young adults

Seishu Nakagawa, Hikaru Takeuchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Rui Nouchi, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Yuka Kotozaki, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Kunio Iizuka, Ryoichi Yokoyama, Takamitsu Shinada, Yuki Yamamoto, Sugiko Hanawa, Tsuyoshi Araki, Hiroshi Hashizume, Keiko Kunitoki, Yuko Sassa, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Lonely individuals may exhibit dysfunction, particularly with respect to social empathy and self-efficacy. White matter (WM) structures related to loneliness have not yet been identified. We investigated the association between regional WM density (rWMD) using the UCLA Loneliness Scale in 776 healthy young students aged 18-27 years old. Loneliness scores were negatively correlated with rWMD in eight clusters: the bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL), right anterior insula (AI), posterior temporoparietal junction (pTPJ), left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), and rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC). The bilateral IPL, right AI, left pSTS, pTPJ, and RLPFC were strongly associated with Empathy Quotient (EQ), whereas the bilateral IPL, right AI, left pTPJ, and dmPFC were associated with General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES) score. The neural correlates of loneliness comprise widespread reduction in WMD in areas related to self-and social cognition as well as areas associated with empathy and self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17001
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 20
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'White matter structures associated with loneliness in young adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this