White matter matters

Neuropathology of narcissism

Joy Ride
3 min readMar 18, 2021
Photo by alexey turenkov on Unsplash

Quantifying the living human brain isn’t an easy task, particularly when it comes to elusive and difficult to measure high cognitive functions such as behavior, empathy, humanity, and humility. (Yes, I am referring to Meghan Markle). Recently, scientists used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine how individual differences in behavior might compare to white matter structure and connectivity.

White matter is the tissue through which messages pass between different areas of grey matter within the brain.

A team of researchers from China came to an intriguing conclusion and published the findings in the International Journal of Neuroscience. The team matched 19 young males (median age of 18 years old) who scored high on the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI) test, with similar age young males scoring low.

The PNI is a self-reported test to measure dimensions of pathological narcissism. You can access and test (link) your narcissistic score on a scale of 1 to 40 to determine whether or not you score high on Entitlement Rage, Exploitativeness, Grandiose Fantasy, Self-sacrificing, Self-enhancement, and Contingent Self-esteem Hiding the Self Devaluing.

Researchers found that the integrity of white matter microstructure in the corpus callosum (CC) — the most…



Joy Ride

Learner, writer, biotech investor, research translation, drug development, genetics. 4-lingual.