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Abstract

Personality neuroscience involves the use of neuroscience methods to study individual differences in behavior, motivation, emotion, and cognition. Personality psychology has contributed much to identifying the important dimensions of personality, but relatively little to understanding the biological sources of those dimensions. However, the rapidly expanding field of personality neuroscience is increasingly shedding light on this topic. This article provides a survey of progress in the use of neuroscience to study personality traits, organized using a hierarchical model of traits based on the Big Five dimensions: Extraversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness/Intellect. Evidence is reviewed for hypotheses about the biological systems involved in each trait.