Heritability of the network architecture of intrinsic brain functional connectivity

Sinclair, Benjamin, Hansell, Narelle K., Blokland, Gabriëlla A.M., Martin, Nicholas G., Thompson, Paul M., Breakspear, Michael, de Zubicaray, Greig I., Wright, Margaret J., & McMahon, Katie L. (2015) Heritability of the network architecture of intrinsic brain functional connectivity. NeuroImage, 121, pp. 243-252.

View at publisher


The brain's functional network exhibits many features facilitating functional specialization, integration, and robustness to attack. Using graph theory to characterize brain networks, studies demonstrate their small-world, modular, and "rich-club" properties, with deviations reported in many common neuropathological conditions. Here we estimate the heritability of five widely used graph theoretical metrics (mean clustering coefficient (γ), modularity (Q), rich-club coefficient (ϕnorm), global efficiency (λ), small-worldness (σ)) over a range of connection densities (k=5-25%) in a large cohort of twins (N=592, 84 MZ and 89 DZ twin pairs, 246 single twins, age 23±2.5). We also considered the effects of global signal regression (GSR). We found that the graph metrics were moderately influenced by genetic factors h2 (γ=47-59%, Q=38-59%, ϕnorm=0-29%, λ=52-64%, σ=51-59%) at lower connection densities (≤15%), and when global signal regression was implemented, heritability estimates decreased substantially h2 (γ=0-26%, Q=0-28%, ϕnorm=0%, λ=23-30%, σ=0-27%). Distinct network features were phenotypically correlated (|r|=0.15-0.81), and γ, Q, and λ were found to be influenced by overlapping genetic factors. Our findings suggest that these metrics may be potential endophenotypes for psychiatric disease and suitable for genetic association studies, but that genetic effects must be interpreted with respect to methodological choices.

Impact and interest:

0 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
1 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 94865
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: functional connectivity, genetics, graph theory, heritability, resting state
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.07.048
ISSN: 1053-8119
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Deposited On: 15 Apr 2016 02:09
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2016 21:01

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page