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Int J Psychophysiol. 2007 Jul;65(1):2-9. Epub 2007 Feb 21.

Genetic influences on bipolar EEG power spectra.

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Neurodynamics Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.


The EEG bipolar power spectra provide more localization than spectral measures obtained from monopolar referencing strategies, and have been shown to be useful endophenotypes of psychiatric disorders such as alcoholism. We estimated the additive genetic heritability of resting bipolar EEG power spectra in a large sample of non-twin sibling pairs. The corresponding heritabilities ranged between 0.220 and 0.647 and were highly significant at all 38 electrode pairs for theta (3-7 Hz), low-alpha (7-9 Hz), high-alpha (9-12 Hz), low-beta (12-16 Hz), middle-beta (16-20 Hz) and high-beta (20-28 Hz) frequency bands. The heritabilities were the highest in the high-alpha and low-beta bands at most electrode pairs. The heritabilities were most variable across the head in the three beta bands. Other heritability patterns were also identified within each frequency band. Our results suggest that substantial proportions of the variability in the bipolar EEG measures are explained by genetic factors.

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