Cortical Thickness in Prefrontal Regions and Prosocial Behavior in Young Healthy Adults

Number of pages50
Master program titleMaster in Neuroscience
Imprimatur date2023-09-13
Defense date2023-09-13

Prosocial behavior, defined as voluntary actions intended to benefit others, is a fundamental aspect of human social interaction. Understanding the neuroanatomical basis of prosociality is important to gain insights into why humans exhibit prosocial behaviors, empathy, and compassion. Previous research has revealed varying associations between prosocial behavior and cortical thickness, with studies reporting positive associations in younger children and negative associations in adolescents and young adults. This thesis presents a cross-sectional investigation aimed at exploring potential associations between prosocial behavior and cortical thickness in young adulthood, with the aim to complement the existing literature.

The study examined a sample of 30 healthy young adults who participated in the e-SMILE study, a comprehensive research trial investigating the effects of mindfulness training on stress and prosocial behavior.

Utilizing structural magnetic resonance imaging techniques, cortical thickness measurements in brain regions known to be involved in social cognition were obtained, namely the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the insula and the anterior cingulate cortex. At the same time, clinical data were collected to assess individual differences in prosocial tendencies.

A correlation analysis revealed no significant associations between cortical thickness in the examined brain regions and prosocial tendencies in our sample. A negative association with age was detected in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is in line with the literature.

While the absence of significant correlations does not conform with previous studies, our findings offer valuable insights into the complexity of the neural correlates of prosocial behavior.

Citation (ISO format)
SANTIAGO, Sandra Perez. Cortical Thickness in Prefrontal Regions and Prosocial Behavior in Young Healthy Adults. 2023.
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Master thesis
  • PID : unige:172130

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Creation10/09/2023 9:25:44 AM
First validation10/10/2023 9:47:33 AM
Update time10/10/2023 9:47:33 AM
Status update10/10/2023 9:47:33 AM
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