Regional gray matter density is associated with morningness-eveningness: Evidence from voxel-based morphometry

Hikaru Takeuchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Rui Nouchi, Yuka Kotozaki, Seishu Nakagawa, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Kunio Iizuka, Ryoichi Yokoyama, Takamitsu Shinada, Yuki Yamamoto, Sugiko Hanawa, Tsuyoshi Araki, Hiroshi Hashizume, Keiko Kunitoki, Yuko Sassa, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Diurnal preference (morningness-eveningness) is known to be associated with several individual characteristics that are important in the fields of sociology, education, and psychiatry. Despite this importance, the anatomical correlates of individual differences in morningness-eveningness are unknown, and these were investigated in the present study. We used voxel-based morphometry and a questionnaire to determine individual morningness-eveningness and its association with brain structures in 432 healthy men and 344 healthy women (age, 20.7. ±. 1.8. years). We demonstrated that morningness (less eveningness) was associated with (a) lower regional gray matter density (rGMD) in the precuneus and adjacent areas, (b) lower rGMD in the left posterior parietal cortex and adjacent areas, and (c) higher rGMD in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex. Further, our exploratory analyses revealed that (d) higher rGMD in hypothalamic areas around the bilateral suprachiasmatic nuclei were associated with morningness. These findings demonstrate that variations in morningness-eveningness reflect the GM structures of focal regions across the cortex, and suggest a structural basis for individual morningness-eveningness and its association with a wide range of psychological variables distributed across different GM areas of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-304
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 5


  • Brain structure
  • Chronotype
  • Orbitofrontal cortex
  • Precuneus
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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