Reduced network integration in default mode and executive networks is associated with social and personal optimism biases

Dominik Andreas Moser, Mihai Dricu, Raviteja Kotikalapudi, Gaelle Eve Doucet, Tatjana Aue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


An optimism bias refers to the belief in good things happening to oneself in the future with a higher likelihood than is justified. Social optimism biases extend this concept to groups that one identifies with. Previous literature has found that both personal and social optimism biases are linked to brain structure and task-related brain function. Less is known about whether optimism biases are also expressed in resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC). Forty-two participants completed questionnaires on dispositional personal optimism (which is not necessarily unjustified) and comparative optimism (i.e., whether we see our own future as being rosier than a comparison person's future) and underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. They further undertook an imaginative soccer task in order to assess both their personal and social optimism bias. We tested associations of these data with RSFC within and between 13 networks, using sparse canonical correlation analyses (sCCAs). We found that the primary sCCA component was positively connected to personal and social optimism bias and negatively connected to dispositional personal pessimism. This component was associated with (a) reduced integration of the default mode network, (b) reduced integration of the central executive and salience networks, and (c) reduced segregation between the default mode network and the central executive network. Our finding that optimism biases are linked to RSFC indicates that they may be rooted in neurobiology that exists outside of concurrent tasks. This poses questions as to what the limits of the malleability of such biases may be.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2893-2906
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021


  • network connectivity
  • optimism
  • resting state
  • social cognition
  • social optimism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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