Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

A neural mechanism for affective well-being: Subgenual cingulate cortex mediates real-life effects of nonexercise activity on energy

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  06 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 45, eaaz8934
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz8934
  • Fig. 1 The total amount of nonexercise activity within the study week relates to gray matter volume of the subgenual ACC.

    (A) T map of the significant association between mean nonexercise activity across the study week and gray matter volume. For illustration purposes, findings are shown at a significance threshold of P < 0.005, uncorrected. (B) Scatterplot of the association between mean nonexercise activity across the study week [x axis; depicted are group-centered Movement Acceleration Intensity values (for details, see Methods), residualized for age, gender, total intracranial volume (TIV), BMI, and total exercise activity across the study week) and subgenual ACC gray matter volume [y axis; depicted are individual gray matter volume values for the peak voxel as defined by the main ROI analysis as shown in (A), residualized for age, gender, TIV, BMI, and total exercise activity across the study week]. a.u., arbitrary units.

  • Fig. 2 sgACC volume moderates the within-subject association between nonexercise activity and energetic arousal.

    Here, the estimated within-person effects of nonexercise activity (x axis) on energy (y axis) within the study participant showing the lowest (solid regression line) versus within the participant demonstrating the highest sgACC volume (dashed regression line) from the multilevel model are displayed. Please note that nonexercise values to the left of the x axis refer to sedentary behavior such as sitting, while nonexercise values to the right depict moderate activities such as walking in everyday life.

  • Table 1 Participant characteristics and descriptives of the replication study (n = 83).

    BMI, body mass index; WBI, well-being index; NEO-FFI-30, NEO Five-Factor Inventory (short version).

    MinMaxMeanSD
    Age (years)182823.302.60
    BMI (kg/m2)17.1732.6622.982.93
    Socioeconomic status5.520.414.213.56
    World Health Organization
    WBI
    22315.514.34
    Neuroticism (NEO-FFI-30-N)03.831.210.76
    Nonexercise activity (milli-g
    per participant per week)
    16.3760.7136.0810.16
    Energetic arousal (mean per
    participant per week)
    31.8978.1359.2710.53
    Exercise activity (min per
    participant per week)
    01016138.53191.03
    E-diary compliance [answers/
    queries in (%)]
    40.2210080.8716.33
  • Table 2 Multilevel moderation analysis in the replication study (n = 83): sgACC volume moderates within-subject association of nonexercise activity and energetic arousal.

    Multilevel moderation analysis in the replication study (n = 83): sgACC volume moderates within-subject association of nonexercise activity and energetic arousal.. Outcome: energetic arousal (range, 0 to 100); presented are the fixed effects. a.u., arbitrary units.

    Predictorβ coefficientSET value (df)P value
    Intercept22.57819.3971.16 (78.8)0.248
    Moderation (cross-level interaction analysis)
      sgACC volume*Nonexercise activity (a.u.)−0.1480.046−3.23 (5532)0.001
    Main predictors
      sgACC volume (a.u.)−8.66417.799−0.49 (74.9)0.628
      Nonexercise activity (milli-g)0.1850.0384.92 (5532)<0.001
    Covariates on level 1 (within-subject)
      Time (hours)7.9020.43718.09 (5540)<0.001
      Time squared (hours2)−0.2790.014−19.43 (5540)<0.001
      Exercise activity/day (min)−0.0200.012−1.69 (5535)0.090
    Covariates on level 2 (between-subject)
      Age (years)−0.5900.454−1.30 (75.2)0.197
      Gender: female0.1023.0220.03 (74.2)0.973
      BMI (kg/m2)0.3150.3780.83 (75.1)0.407
      Exercise/week (min)−0.0060.006−0.99 (76)0.327
      Neuroticism (0–4)−6.2191.586−3.92 (74.6)<0.001
    Total intracranial volume (a.u.)0.0050.0150.32 (74.5)0.750
  • Table 3 Univariate associations of energetic arousal with affective well-being and mental health metrics (n = 80).

    Univariate associations of energetic arousal with affective well-being and mental health metrics (n = 80).. Note: Age, gender, and socioeconomic status (30) were entered as covariates.

    β coefficientF(df1,df2)P value
    WHO WBI
    (WBI25)
    0.19719.514(1,74)<0.001
    Trait anxiety
    (STAI-T)
    −0.2558.278(1,74)0.005
    Sense of
    coherence
    (SOC)
    0.1877.188(1,74)0.009
    Satisfaction with
    life (SWLS)
    0.17911.176(1,74)0.001
    Optimism
    (LOT-R)
    0.3310.56(1,74)0.002
    Self-efficacy
    (SWE)
    0.1298.206(1,74)0.005

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    A neural mechanism for affective well-being: Subgenual cingulate cortex mediates real-life effects of nonexercise activity on energy

    Markus Reichert, Urs Braun, Gabriela Gan, Iris Reinhard, Marco Giurgiu, Ren Ma, Zhenxiang Zang, Oliver Hennig, Elena D. Koch, Lena Wieland, Janina Schweiger, Dragos Inta, Andreas Hoell, Ceren Akdeniz, Alexander Zipf, Ulrich W. Ebner-Priemer, Heike Tost, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg

    Download Supplement

    This PDF file includes:

    • Figs. S1 to S3
    • Sections S1 to S4
    • Tables S1 to S5

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Stay Connected to Science Advances

Navigate This Article