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Neuroscience. 2009 Nov 24;164(1):88-107. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.05.013. Epub 2009 May 18.

Challenges in phenotype definition in the whole-genome era: multivariate models of memory and intelligence.

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Consortium for Neuropsychiatric Phenomics, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Refining phenotypes for the study of neuropsychiatric disorders is of paramount importance in neuroscience. Poor phenotype definition provides the greatest obstacle for making progress in disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and autism. Using freely available informatics tools developed by the Consortium for Neuropsychiatric Phenomics (CNP), we provide a framework for defining and refining latent constructs used in neuroscience research and then apply this strategy to review known genetic contributions to memory and intelligence in healthy individuals. This approach can help us begin to build multi-level phenotype models that express the interactions between constructs necessary to understand complex neuropsychiatric diseases. These results are available online through the database. Further work needs to be done in order to provide consensus-building applications for the broadly defined constructs used in neuroscience research.

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