Washington: A new study has revealed that brain structure depends on how trusting people are of others.
Brian Haas, an assistant professor in the department of psychology, and his team of researchers used two measures to determine the trust levels of 82 study participants.
Participants filled out a self-reported questionnaire about their tendency to trust others. They also were shown pictures of faces with neutral facial expressions and asked to evaluate how trustworthy they found each person in the picture. This gave researchers a metric, on a spectrum, of how trusting each participant was of others.
Researchers then took MRI scans of the participants' brains to determine how brain structure is associated with the tendency to be more trusting of others.
The researchers found differences in two areas of the brain.
Haas said that the most important finding was that the grey matter volume was greater in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, the brain region that evaluates social rewards, in people that tended to be more trusting of others.
The research might have implications for future treatments of psychological conditions such as autism.