Association of prefrontal cortex thinning with high impulsivity in healthy adults

Ji Eun Lim, Seoyeon Kim, Surin Seo, Wooyoung Kang, Aram Kim, Youbin Kang, Kwan Woo Choi, Woo Suk Tae, Byung Joo Ham, Kyu Man Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Studies have been conducted to identify brain structural alterations related to high impulsivity in psychiatric populations. However, research on healthy subjects is relatively less extensive. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the correlation between the cortical thickness of whole brain regions and the impulsivity level in a healthy population. Methods We included 100 healthy participants aged 19–65 years. Their T1-weighted magnetic resonance images and the 23-item Bar-ratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) score were obtained. The patients were divided into high and low impulsivity groups according to the 75th percentile score of the BIS in the sample. The thickness of each cortical region was calculated using the FreeSurfer, and the difference in cortical thickness of the whole brain between the high and low impulsivity groups was analyzed using one-way analysis of covariance including age, sex, education level, and total intracranial cavity volume as covariates. Results The high impulsivity group showed significant cortical thinning in the left pars opercularis. The cortical thickness of the left pars opercularis significantly correlated negatively with the total, attention, and motor scores of the BIS scale. Conclusion Our findings suggest that prefrontal cortex thinning may play an important role in the development of high impulsivity in healthy adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-579
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun


  • Barratt Impulsiveness Scale
  • Cortical thickness
  • Impulsivity
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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