Trait impulsivity is not related to post-commissural putamen volumes: A replication study in healthy men

PLoS One. 2018 Dec 20;13(12):e0209584. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209584. eCollection 2018.


High levels of trait impulsivity are considered a risk factor for substance abuse and drug addiction. We recently found that non-planning trait impulsivity was negatively correlated with post-commissural putamen volumes in men, but not women, using the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP). Here, we attempted to replicate this finding in an independent sample using an updated version of the KSP: the Swedish Universities Scales of Personality (SSP). Data from 88 healthy male participants (Mean Age: 28.16±3.34), who provided structural T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRIs) and self-reported SSP impulsivity scores, were analyzed. Striatal sub-region volumes were acquired using the Multiple Automatically Generated Templates (MAGeT-Brain) algorithm. Contrary to our previous findings trait impulsivity measured using SSP was not a significant predictor of post-commissural putamen volumes (β = .14, df = 84, p = .94). A replication Bayes Factors analysis strongly supported this null result. Consistent with our previous findings, secondary exploratory analyses found no relationship between ventral striatum volumes and SSP trait impulsivity (β = -.05, df = 84, p = .28). An exploratory analysis of the other striatal compartments showed that there were no significant associations with trait impulsivity. While we could not replicate our previous findings in the current sample, we believe this work will aide future studies aimed at establishing meaningful brain biomarkers for addiction vulnerability in healthy humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Behavior, Addictive / diagnostic imaging
  • Behavior, Addictive / physiopathology*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Putamen / diagnostic imaging
  • Putamen / physiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Substance-Related Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Sweden
  • Ventral Striatum / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventral Striatum / physiopathology

Grant support

Author SC is supported by the Swedish Research Council (523-2014-3467) ( Author FC is supported by a post-doctoral fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research ( The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.