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Sustained striatal activity predicts eudaimonic well-being and cortisol output

Heller, A. S., Van Reekum, C., Schaefer, S. M., Lapate, R. C., Radler, B. T., Ryff, C. D. and Davidson, R. J. (2013) Sustained striatal activity predicts eudaimonic well-being and cortisol output. Psychological Science, 24 (11). pp. 2191-2200. ISSN 0956-7976

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0956797613490744

Abstract/Summary

Eudaimonic well-being—a sense of purpose, meaning, and engagement with life—is protective against psychopathology and predicts physical health, including lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Although it has been suggested that the ability to engage the neural circuitry of reward may promote well-being and mediate the relationship between well-being and health, this hypothesis has remained untested. To test this hypothesis, we had participants view positive, neutral, and negative images while fMRI data were collected. Individuals with sustained activity in the striatum and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to positive stimuli over the course of the scan session reported greater well-being and had lower cortisol output. This suggests that sustained engagement of reward circuitry in response to positive events underlies well-being and adaptive regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:32880
Publisher:Sage Publications

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