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Elife. 2017 Jul 26;6. pii: e20178. doi: 10.7554/eLife.20178.

The heritability of multi-modal connectivity in human brain activity.

Author information

1
Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA), Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
2
Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB), Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
3
Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
4
Department of Statistics, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.
5
Warwick Manufacturing Group, International Manufacturing Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.
6
Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
7
School of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, United States.

Abstract

Patterns of intrinsic human brain activity exhibit a profile of functional connectivity that is associated with behaviour and cognitive performance, and deteriorates with disease. This paper investigates the relative importance of genetic factors and the common environment between twins in determining this functional connectivity profile. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on 820 subjects from the Human Connectome Project, and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings from a subset, the heritability of connectivity among 39 cortical regions was estimated. On average over all connections, genes account for about 15% of the observed variance in fMRI connectivity (and about 10% in alpha-band and 20% in beta-band oscillatory power synchronisation), which substantially exceeds the contribution from the environment shared between twins. Therefore, insofar as twins share a common upbringing, it appears that genes, rather than the developmental environment, have the dominant role in determining the coupling of neuronal activity.

KEYWORDS:

MEG; fMRI; functional connectivity; heritability; human; imaging genetics; neuroscience

PMID:
28745584
PMCID:
PMC5621837
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.20178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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