“We look at brain chemistry!” Why we are naturally drawn to some people rather than others? It is a huge mystery. Why are we more compatible with some people and not others? there are some answers out there. Helen Fisher and Lucy Brown along with Bianca Acevedo have conducted brain scanning experiments to study just that question. They want to develop a good quiz based on brain physiology that can help people find a compatible partner. They looked the neural foundations of four broad temperament dimensions that contribute to romantic attraction and compatibility between romantic partners. The paper, NEURAL CORRELATES OF FOUR BROAD TEMPERAMENT DIMENSIONS: Testing Predictions for a Novel Construct of Personality, appeared in the scientific journal PLOS ONE on November 13, 2013. It is free for anyone to read. You can take the Personality-Temperament quiz right here on our website-- the first physiologically-based quiz that has been tested with functional brain imaging! Fair warning: the text below is scientific writing with lots of brain regions mentioned. We think some of you might like it, though.
Fisher first identified in the biological literature four groups of behavioral traits associated with four broad neural systems: the 1) dopamine; 2) serotonin; 3) testosterone; 4) and estrogen/oxytocin systems. She then constructed a 56-item questionnaire, the Fisher Temperament Inventory, to measure these four temperament dimensions. You can take the Temperament Inventory right here. We call it Helen Fisher’s Personality Quiz. The dimensions were named: Curious/Energetic (the Explorer); Cautious/Social Norm Compliant (the Builder); Analytical/Tough-minded (the Director); and Prosocial/Empathetic (the Negotiator). In the studies, the Temperament Inventory was administered to participants in two brain scanning studies that used functional MRI. Inventory (Quiz) Scores for the Curious/Energetic (Explorer) dimension co-varied with activation in a region of the substantia nigra, consistent with the prediction that this temperament dimension reflects activity in the dopamine system. Scores for the Cautious/Social Norm Compliant (Builder) temperament dimension correlated with activation in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in regions associated with social norm compliance, a trait linked with the serotonin system. Scores on the Analytical/Tough-minded scale (Director) co-varied with activity in regions of the occipital and parietal cortices associated with visual acuity and mathematical thinking, traits linked with testosterone; testosterone also contributes to brain architecture in these areas. Scores on the Prosocial/Empathetic (Negotiator) scale correlated with activity in regions of the inferior frontal gyrus, anterior insula and fusiform gyrus, regions associated with mirror neurons or empathy, a trait linked with the estrogen/oxytocin system and regions where estrogen contributes to brain architecture. These findings, replicated across two studies, indicate that the Quiz measures the influences of four broad neural systems, and that these temperament dimensions and neural systems could constitute foundational mechanisms in personality structure and play a role in romantic attraction and partnership formation. The Fisher Temperament Inventory (Quiz on this website) has been taken by over 13 million people in 40 countries on Chemistry.com and Match.com, and is used in the algorithm for introductions on Chemistry.com. It is the first questionnaire to be used in the Internet dating industry that reflects the biological foundations of mate choice.NEXT