Rejection sensitivity (RS) can be defined as the disposition that one tends to anxiously expect, readily perceive, and intensely react to rejection. High-RS individuals are more likely to suffer mental disorders. Previous studies have investigated brain activity during social rejection using different kinds of rejection paradigms and have provided neural evidence of individual differences in response to rejection cues, but the association between individual differences in RS and brain structure has never been investigated. In this study, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to investigate the relationship between gray matter volume (GMV) and RS in a large healthy sample of 150 men and 188 women. The participants completed the RS Questionnaire and underwent an anatomical magnetic resonance imaging scan. Multiple regression was used to analyze the correlation between regional GMV and RS scores, adjusting for age, sex, and total brain GMV. These results showed that GMV in the region of the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus was negatively associated with RS, and GMV in the region of the inferior temporal gyrus was positively correlated with RS. These findings suggest a relationship between individual differences in RS and GMV in brain regions that are primarily related to social cognition.
- Rejection sensitivity
- Voxel-based morphometry
- Posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus
- Social cognition