Quality of Life Research

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 629–641 | Cite as

Changes in SWB following injury to different brain lobes

  • Carrie S. Hayward
  • Mark A. Stokes
  • David Taylor
  • Simon Young
  • Vicki Anderson


A neurological substrate for subjective well-being (SWB) has received little research attention.


This study was designed to conduct exploratory investigation into the neuroanatomical correlates of SWB, by monitoring the SWB of a head-injured population over a six-month period.


Seventy people with head injury (HI), aged 10–65, were studied. The SWB of each participant was measured, and computed tomography (CT) scans were analysed to obtain regional brain injury location (BIL).


SWB was associated with BIL. However, the hypothesis that individuals with left frontal injury would report lower SWB was not supported. Instead, it was observed that participants with injury to their right frontal lobe reported higher SWB than individuals with injury to other regions of the brain.


This study provides initial exploration into the neuroanatomical correlates of SWB.


Quality of life Neuroanatomy Frontal lobe Head Trauma Happiness 

Glossary of acronyms and abbreviations


Akaike’s Information Criterion (Akaike, 1987)


Australian Unity Wellbeing (research project)


Brain injury location


Confidence interval


Computed tomography


Dependent variable


Electroencephalograph analyses


Glasgow Coma Scale




Hierarchical Linear and Nonlinear Modelling program


Independent variable


Post-traumatic amnesia


Personal Wellbeing Index-Adult (International Wellbeing Group, 2005)


Personal Wellbeing Index–School Children (Cummins & Lau, 2004)


Personal Wellbeing Index-School Children (Cummins & Lau, 2005)


Royal Children’s Hospital


Royal Melbourne Hospital


Standard deviation


Standard error


Standard error of mean


Subjective well-being


Traumatic brain injury


Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 3rd Edition


Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests


Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – 4th Edition




chi square/goodness of fit




Degrees of freedom




Intraclass correlation


Percentage of scale maximum


Probability value

\( \sigma_{u0}^{2} \)

Sigma squared/person level variance


Standardized score


Squared correlation of the effect

\( \sigma_{e}^{2} \)

Tau intercept/occasion level variance


Number of independent variables


Number of participants



We are grateful to Senem Eren (Psychology Department, The Royal Children’s Hospital Australia) for her assistance in ethics applications and participant recruitment.


  1. 1.
    Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403–425.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Andrews, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indicators of well-being. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., & Rodgers, W. L. (1976). The quality of American life: Perceptions, evaluations and satisfactions. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cummins, R. A. (1998). The second approximation to an international standard of life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 43, 307–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cummins, R. A. (2000). Objective and subjective quality of life: An interactive model. Social Indicators Research, 52, 55–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cummins, R. A., Woerner, J., Gibson, A., Lai, L., Weinberg. M., & Collard, J. (2008). Australian unity wellbeing index: Report 19.0. The wellbeing of Australians: links with exercise, nicotine and alcohol. Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, School of Psychology, Deakin University. ISBN 978 1 74156 113 5 http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/index_wellbeing/index.htm.
  7. 7.
    Hayward, C. (2007). The neuroanatomical correlates of subjective wellbeing following head injury. PhD thesis, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Brickman, P., Coates, D., & Janoff-Bulman, R. (1978). Lottery winners and accidents victims: Is happiness relative? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 646–653.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 76–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schultz, R., & Decker, S. (1985). Long-term adjustment to physical disability: the role of social support, perceived control, and self-blame. Journal of Perception and Social Psychology, 48, 1162–1172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Silver, R. L., Wortman, C. B., & Klos, D. S. (1982). Cognitions, affect, and behaviour following uncontrollable outcomes: A response to current human helplessness research. Journal of Personality, 50, 480–514.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cummins, R. A. (1995). On the trail of the gold standard for life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 35, 179–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Headey, B., & Wearing, A. (1992). Understanding happiness: A theory of subjective well-being. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ryff, C. D., & Singer, B. (1998). Human health: New directions for the new millennium. Psychological Inquiry, 9, 69–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Davidson, R. J. (2004). Well-being and affective style: Neural substrates and bio behavioral correlates. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (London), 359, 1395–1411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Phan, K. L., Wagner, T., Taylor, S. F., & Liberzon, I. (2002). Functional neuroanatomy of emotion: A meta-analysis of emotion activation studies in PET and fMRI. Neuroimage, 16, 331–348.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Heilman, K. M., & Bowers, D. (1990). Neuropsychological studies of emotional changes induced by right and left-hemisphere lesions. In N. Stein, B. Leventhal, & T. Trabasso (Eds.), Psychological approaches to emotion (pp. 97–114). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Stuss, D. T., & Levein, B. (2002). Adult clinical neuropsychology: Lessons from studies of the frontal lobes. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 401–433.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tucker, D. M. (1981). Lateral brain function, emotion and conceptualisation. Psychological Bulletin, 89(1), 19–46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Silberman, E. K., & Weingartner, H. (1986). Hemispheric lateralization of functions related to emotion. Brain and Cognition, 5, 322–353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Heller, W. (1993). Neuropsychological mechanisms of individual differences in emotion, personality and arousal. Neuropsychology, 7(4), 476–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Andersson, S., Krogstad, J. M., & Finset, A. (1999). Apathy and depressed mood in acquired brain damage: Relationship to lesion localisation and psychopathological reactivity. Psychological Medicine, 29, 447–456.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Finset, A., & Andersson, S. (2000). Coping strategies in patients with acquired brain injury: Relationships between coping, apathy, depression and lesion location. Brain Injury, 14, 887–905.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gainotti, G. (1969). “Catastrophic” reactions and manifestations of indifferences during cerebral disorders. Neuropsychologia, 7, 195–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Marin, R. S. (1991). Apathy: a neuropsychiatric syndrome. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 3, 243–254.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Marin, R. S., Firinciogullaari, S., & Biedrzycki, R. C. (1993). The sources of convergence between measures of apathy and depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 28, 7–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Davidson, R. J. (1992). Emotion and affective style: Hemispheric substrates. Psychological Science, 3, 39–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schaffer, C., Davidson, R. J., & Saron, C. (1983). Frontal and parietal electroencephalogram asymmetry in depressed and nondepressed subjects. Biological Psychiatry, 18, 753–762.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Urry, H. L., Nitschke, J. B., Dolski, I., Jackson, D. C., Dalton, K. M., Mueller, C. J., et al. (2004). Making a life worth living: Neural correlates of well-being. Psychological Science, 15, 367–372.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Davidson, R. J., & Irwin, W. (1999). The functional neuroanatomy of emotion and affective style. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 3, 11–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Mesulum, M. -M. (1986). Frontal cortex and behaviour. Annals of Neurology, 19, 320–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics. Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    The International Wellbeing Group (2005). Personal wellbeing index. Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University (http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/instruments/wellbeing_index.htm).
  34. 34.
    Cummins, R. A., & Lau, A. L. D. (2004). The motivation to maintain subjective well-being: A homeostatic model. In H. N. Switzky (Ed.), Personality and motivational systems in mental retardation: (Vol. 28, pp. 255–301). San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Cummins, R. A., Eckersley, R., Okerstrom, E., Hunter, B., & Davern, M. (2003). Australian unity wellbeing index: Cumulative psychometric record (Vol. 9). Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, School of Psychology, Deakin University.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Cummins, R. (1996). The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos. Social Indicators Research, 38, 303–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Cummins, R., McCabe, M., Romeo, Y., Reid, S., & Waters, L. (1997). An initial evaluation of the comprehensive quality of life scale—intellectual disability. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 44, 7–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Cummins, R., Eckersley, R., Pallant, J., van Vugt, J., & Misajon, R. (2003). Developing a national index of subjective wellbeing: The Australian unity wellbeing index. Social Indicators Research, 64, 159–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Lau, A., Cummins, R., & McPherson, W. (2005). An investigation into the cross-cultural equivalence of the personal wellbeing index. Social Indicators Research, 72, 403–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Tiliouine, H., Cummins, R., & Davern, M. (2006). Measuring wellbeing in developing countries: the case of Algeria. Social Indicators Research, 75, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Hox, J. J. (2002). Multilevel analysis: techniques and applications. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Dijkers, M. P. (2004). Quality of life after traumatic brain injury: a review of research approaches and findings. Archives of Physical Medical Rehabilitation, 85, 21–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Fuhrer, M. J., Rintala, D. H., Hart, K. A., Clearman, R., & Young, M. (1992). Relationship of life satisfaction to impairment, disability, and handicap among persons with spinal cord injury living in the community. Archives of Physical Medical Rehabilitation, 73, 552–557.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Knights, R. M., Ivan, L. P., Ventureyra, E. G. C., Bentivoglio, C. S., Winogron, W., & Bawden, H. N. (1992). The effects of head injury in children on neuropsychological and behavioural functioning. Brain Injury, 5, 339–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Moore, A. D., Stambrook, M., & Wilson, K. G. (1991). Cognitive moderators in adjustment to chronic illness. Locus of control beliefs following traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 1, 185–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Boll, T. J. (1983). Minor head injury in children-out of sight but not out of mind. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 12, 74–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Tomarken, A. J., Davidson, R. J., Wheeler, R. E., & Doss, R. C. (1992). Individual differences in anterior brain asymmetry and fundamental dimensions of emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 676–687.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Fedoroff, J. P., Starkstein, S. E., Forrester, A. W., Geidler, F. H., Jorge, R. E., Arndt, S. V., et al. (1992). Depression in patients with acute TBI. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 918–923.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Rosenthal, M., Bruce, F., Christensen, B. K., & Thomas, R. R. (1998). Depression following traumatic brain injury. Archives of Physical Medical Rehabilitation, 79, 90–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Cummings, J. L., & Mendez, M. P. (1984). Secondary mania with focal cerebrovascular lesions. American Journal of Psychiatry, 141, 1084–1087.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    McIntyre, M., Pritchard, P. B., & Lambroso, C. T. (1976). Left and right temporal lobe epileptics: A controlled investigation of some psychological differences. Eplilepsia, 17, 377–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Robinson, R. G. (1983). N M. Reivich (Eds.). Cerebrovascular disease, 13th Princeton Conference. New York: Raven Press.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Meissner, W. W. (2006). The mind-brain relation and neuroscientific foundations: II. Neuro behavioural integrations. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 70, 102–124.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Kagan, J., & Snidman, N. (1999). Early childhood predictors of adult anxiety disorders. Biological Psychiatry, 46, 1536–1541.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Bear, D. M., & Fedio, P. (1977). Quantitative analysis of interictal behaviour in temporal lobe epilepsy. Archives of Neurology, 34, 454–467.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Sinyor, D., Jacques, P., Kaloupek, D. G., Becker, R., Goldenberg, M., & Coopersmith, H. (1986). Post-stroke depression and lesion location. Brain, 109, 537–546.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Kliszcz, J., Gasecki, D., Bandurski, T., & Nyka, W. (2004). Emotional and cognitive empathy disturbances in right hemisphere-Ischemic stroke-damaged patients. SPECT imaging pilot study. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 35, 225–230.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Horton, P. (1988). Positive emotions and the right parietal cortex. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 11, 461–474.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Damasio, A. R. (1994). Descates’ Error. New York: Putnam.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Damasio, A. R. (1999). The feeling of what happens: Body and emotion in the making of consciousness. New York: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Critchley, H. D., Wiens, S., Rotshtein, P., Ohman, A., & Dolan, R. J. (2004). Neural systems supporting interoceptive awareness. Nature Neuroscience, 7, 189–195.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carrie S. Hayward
    • 1
  • Mark A. Stokes
    • 1
  • David Taylor
    • 2
  • Simon Young
    • 3
  • Vicki Anderson
    • 4
  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Emergency Medicine ResearchAustin HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Emergency DepartmentThe Royal Children’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Psychology DepartmentThe Royal Children’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations