From Science Daily:
A team of scientists led by the University's Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain has investigated the connections in the brains of 461 people and compared them with 280 different behavioural and demographic measures that were recorded for the same participants. They found that variation in brain connectivity and an individual's traits lay on a single axis — where those with classically positive lifestyles and behaviours had different connections to those with classically negative ones. The findings are published in Nature Neuroscience. The team used data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP), a $30m NIH-funded brain imaging study led by Washington, Minnesota and Oxford Universities. The HCP is pairing up functional MRI scans of 1,200 healthy participants with in-depth data gained from tests and questionnaires. “The quality of the imaging data is really unprecedented,” explains Professor Stephen Smith, who was the lead author of the paper. “Not only is the number of subjects we get to study large, but the spatial and temporal resolution of the fMRI data is way ahead of previous large datasets.” So far, data for 500 subjects have been released to researchers for analysis. The Oxford team took the data from 461 of the scans and used it to create an averaged map of the brain's processes across the participants. “You can think of it as a population-average map of 200 regions across the brain that are functionally distinct from each other,” explains Professor Smith. “Then, we looked at how much all of those regions communicated with each other, in every participant.”
…They found one strong correlation that relates specific variations in a subject's connectome with their behavioural and demographic measures. Interestingly, the correlation shows that those with a connectome at one end of scale score highly on measures typically deemed to be positive, such as vocabulary, memory, life satisfaction, income and years of education.