Neural correlates of emotional intelligence in adolescent children

William D.S. Killgore, Deborah A. Yurgelun-Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

The somatic marker hypothesis posits a key role for the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and insula in the ability to utilize emotions to guide decision making and behavior. However, the relationship between activity in these brain regions and emotional intelligence (EQ) during adolescence, a time of particular importance for emotional and social development, has not been studied. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we correlated scores from the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory, Youth Version (EQ-i:YV) with brain activity during perception of fearful faces in 16 healthy children and adolescents. Consistent with the neural efficiency hypothesis, higher EQ correlated negatively with activity in the somatic marker circuitry and other paralimbic regions. Positive correlations were observed between EQ and activity in the cerebellum and visual association cortex. The findings suggest that the construct of self-reported EQ in adolescents is inversely related to the efficiency of neural processing within the somatic marker circuitry during emotional provocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-151
Number of pages12
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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