Dopamine D2 receptors in the insular cortex and the personality trait of novelty seeking

Neuroimage. 2001 May;13(5):891-5. doi: 10.1006/nimg.2001.0761.


Human personality has been considered to have a neurochemical background. We examined the relation between extrastriatal dopamine D2 receptor binding in living human brain and the personality trait of novelty seeking that has been proposed to be related to dopaminergic function in the brain. We measured extrastriatal dopamine D2 receptors of 24 healthy young male subjects using [(11)C]FLB 457 positron emission tomography. The personality trait of each subject was assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Correlation of dopamine D2 receptor binding with novelty seeking was calculated using region-of-interest analysis and statistical parametric mapping based on the binding potential images generated using a reference tissue model. A significant negative correlation was observed between binding potential values and the novelty seeking scores on TCI in the right insular cortex. No significant correlation was observed in any other region. Our result indicates that there is a significant association between dopamine D2 receptor binding and the human novelty seeking trait in the right insular cortex.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / physiology*
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Receptors, Dopamine D2